Chapter 12: Debating the health of terrorism studies: methodological issues, research biases and cautious optimism
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One of the interesting aspects of research on terrorism is that the quantity of output, and the prominence that the subject obtained after 9/11, are contrasted with widespread concerns about its quality. This chapter provides an overview of the main issues of contention and how terrorism researchers’ perception of them has changed over time. The discussion focuses specifically on several methodological concerns, including a long-established overreliance on secondary sources, and on worries over the degree to which state-centric biases have affected the field’s research agenda. After years in which pessimistic assessments were prevalent, a more optimistic attitude has taken hold, spurred in part by more use of primary data and a broader focus in terms of research designs.

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