Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11
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Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11

Edited by David Martin Jones, Paul Schulte, Carl Ungerer and M. L.R. Smith

Almost two decades after the events of 9/11, this Handbook offers a comprehensive insight into the evolution and development of terrorism and insurgency since then. Gathering contributions from a broad range of perspectives, it both identifies new technological developments in terrorism and insurgency, and addresses the distinct state responses to the threat of political, or religiously motivated violence; not only in the Middle East and Europe, but also in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and North and South America.
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Chapter 33: Strategy and terrorism: discourse and analysis

M.L.R. Smith and David Martin Jones

Abstract

This chapter posits that strategy – or strategic theory – can clarify much that seems elusive in understanding the concept and practice of terrorism. After all, if we are unclear about how we understand such a term in common use then that must, by logical inference, mean that we are likely to be uncertain about what it actually is in practice. Our reactions and any policy responses are likely to be equally confused as a result. The application of strategic theory, we shall argue, can act to dispel popular assumptions and misconceptions and even offer some surprises about how it may be possible to analyse dispassionately a phenomenon that has frequently been described in terms of a threat of ‘absolute cosmic significance’.

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