This book includes the proceedings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) 2008 Advanced Research Workshop (ARW), titled “Together against Terrorism: Building Terrorism Resistant Communities.” The workshop was held in Washington D.C. on September 26–27, 2008, and was planned and organized by Sıddık Ekici from Turkey and Lindita Caci from Albania, with excellent sponsorship from NATO. This event was also co-sponsored by the University of North Texas (UNT); the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (PACS) at UNT; and the Department of Public Administration (PADM) at UNT.
Distinguished participants representing twelve different countries (from the academia and law enforcement communities) were in attendance. The goal of the meeting was to explore methods to involve the community in the fight against terrorism in an effort to enhance its protection from terrorist attacks and to establish a network between the participants for future collaborations. Not only was there a comprehensive series of highly relevant presentations on strengthening the community against terrorism, but the meeting also provided an opportunity to share mutual concerns and meet academicians and practitioners in the field.
The workshop was organized around two main topics:
1. Defining the problem of terrorism and collective community protection
2. Counter-terrorism practices and their relation to the community
On the first topic, attendees presented their studies related, in particular, to why terrorism exists and why people join and/or support extremist groups. Although the studies were problem-oriented, at the conclusion of each presentation, suggestions were offered on how to diminish the threat. The second topic represented studies that primarily focused on developing non-orthodox methods to combat terrorism. In other words, the researchers presented their arguments as to why communities should be included in the fight against terrorism. In addition, suggestions were made concerning how this integration could be achieved and what kind of limitations could exist in the cooperation between law enforcement and the community.
Following the classification of studies received, the articles contained in this book were categorized into three parts:
1. Terrorism and its Causes
2. Organizational and Structural Approaches to Terrorism
3. Civil Society and Counter Terrorism Operations
It is hoped that this book will be a guide for policy makers and practitioners to gain a better understanding of how counter terrorism, as well as many other applications, require community support and involvement to the fullest extent possible. Because the existing threat of terrorism is proof of the failed classical militaristic approaches, the time has come to integrate our communities into the practice of fighting the threat together. Certainly, the integration of communities in counter terrorism policies bears some limitations. Therefore, attempts to counter terrorism together with our communities should be in accordance with the suggestions and recommendations offered in such and/or possible future studies.