Chapter 2: The Nature of the Beast: Defining Terrorism

H.H.A. Cooper investigates the difficulty in defining terrorism within the context of the many different approaches to identifying the problem. Barry Denton contributes an interesting book review on criminological perspectives of terrorism and homeland security. Charlotte Heath-Kelly discusses the school of Critical Terrorism Studies, and explores the emancipatory nature of the field from a philosophical perspective. Stathis Kalyvas offers a definitional analysis of the ethnic war model. In his discussion of legal conventions which address the problem of terrorism, Zdislaw Galicki investigates legalistic approaches to defining and dealing with terrorism. Mills, Freilich, and Chermak assess the conceptual relationship between hate crimes and terrorism. The U.S. Department of State and National Intelligence Council reports are useful reviews of the global terrorist environment. Kirill Zhirkov and colleagues explore the different perceptions of terrorism and world politics among Muslim groups in numerous Middle-Eastern and European countries.


Journal Article 2.1: Cooper, H.H.A. “Terrorism: The Problem of Definition Revisited.” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (February 2001).

Journal Article 2.2: Denton, Barry D. “Criminologists on Terrorism and Homeland Security.” Criminal Justice Review 37 (June 2012).

Journal Article 2.3: Galicki, Zdzislaw. “International Law and Terrorism.” American Behavioral Scientist 48:6 (February 2005).

Journal Article 2.4: Heath-Kelly, Charlotte. “Critical Terrorism Studies, Critical Theory and the ‘Naturalistic Fallacy’.” Security Dialogue 41:3 (2010): 235-254.

Journal Article 2.5: Kalyvas, Stathis N. “Ethnic Cleavages and Irregular War: Iraq and Vietnam.” Politics & Society 35:2 (June 2007).

Journal Article 2.6: Mills, Coleen E., Joshua D. Freilich, and Steven M. Chermak. “Extreme Hatred: Revisiting the Hate Crime and Terrorism Relationship to Determine Whether They Are ‘Close Cousins’ or ‘Distant Relatives’.” Crime & Delinquency 63:10 (2017).

Journal Article 2.7: U.S. Department of State. “Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism.”

Journal Article 2.8: U.S. Department of State. The National Security Strategy of the United States. March 2006.

Journal Article 2.9: U.S. Department of State. “White House Counterterrorism Reports.”

Journal Article 2.10: U.S. National Intelligence Council. National Intelligence Estimate: The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland. Washington, D.C. (July 2007).

Journal Article 2.11: Zhirkov, Kirill, Maykel Verkuyten, and Jeroen Weesie. “Perceptions of World Politics and Support for Terrorism among Muslims: Evidence from Muslim Countries and Western Europe.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 31.5 (2014): 481-501.