Transnational terrorism can be characterised as an international spillover of domestic disputes, because an external power is seen to support the regime at home, which is also regarded as a client state of the foreign power. To this we may add a deep sense of humiliation, which can drive sufficiently motivated individuals to go to great lengths to further their cause, including even suicide. From that viewpoint, if suicide promotes the cause; it can be rational. Deterrence against such individuals could backfire, as it strengthens their resolve to resist, unless of course extremely destructive force is used, something that is intolerable in most Western democracies. In other situations, so-called terrorism constitutes violent acts against the state in the context of a purely domestic dispute without implications for international terrorism. The long-term solutions to terrorism are political and economic, and not military. In that sense, the solutions for terrorism, and the difficulties associated with self-sustaining peace agreements are similar. Concepts of ‘fair division’ can be applied to the post-conflict dispensation. But the greatest difficult arises in attempts to divide the indivisible; something that ultimately requires power-sharing, common access and other federative formulas. Culturalist explanations for terrorism are a means of disguising the root causes of a phenomenon that lie in political injustices, unfair post-colonial dispensations and economic discrimination. Ultimately, violence has a rational basis which is universal to all cultures.
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