Chapter 1: Contemplating a research agenda for terrorism studies
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Twenty years ago a fundamental question facing terrorism studies was whether the major surge in research following 9/11 would or could last? As this chapter notes, the surge did last, and today terrorism studies is a substantial and vibrant field of research activity. The chapter provides an overview of the evolution of terrorism studies, noting many of the weaknesses in research in the early decades and exploring how several of these limitations have been tackled in more recent years. The chapter considers the practical implications of conceptual uncertainty in the field and draws attention to some of the key questions facing research in this area. The chapter considers which research methodologies and approaches can be used to provide answers to these and other critical issues. With a fundamental shift in the nature and scale of research activity and analysis unfolding, terrorism studies is opening up fresh avenues for tackling many of these long-standing questions. The chapter concludes by considering a research culture for terrorism studies and what the characteristics of that can and should be.

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