Chapter 4: Beginnings: The Causes of Terrorism

Daniel Bar-Tal offers a conceptual framework for understanding intractable conflicts. Randy Blazak reports research on the targeted recruitment of youths by American hate groups. Brian Burgoon investigates the impact of social welfare policies on the causes of terrorism. Dietrich discusses how the implementation of anti-terrorism policies may increase the risk of provoking increased resistance. Gelpi and Avdan apply a diagnostic tool to discuss the forecasting abilities of several models of terrorist activity, regime type, and the risk of attack by terrorists. Sambuddha Ghatak and Aaron Gold examines and updates the discussion on the relationship between minority discrimination and domestic terrorism. Examining the case of U.S. neo-Nazi subcultures, Mark Hamm discusses subcultural conditions which make terrorism possible. Michael Israel’s article explores the ideological concept of free speech within the context of “assaultive” speech that offers little value to social discourse. Michael Katz explores why, with very few exceptions, American cities do not experience violent civil disorders. Lauderdale and Oliverio’s essay summarizes the necessity for critical discussions on the subject of terrorism. Research on the effect of online hate group activity on adolescents is discussed by Elissa Lee and Laura Leets. Piazza examines the relationship between poverty and terrorism, and possible association with minority economic discrimination. Jeffrey Rose attempts to develop a causal theory of terrorist action. Sandler reviews the analytical study of terrorism within the context that all participants are rational actors. In a second contribution, Sandler also identifies the main contributions of empirical and theoretical literature on terrorism. Saygili tests and discusses the assertion that democracies make tempting soft targets because of their low tolerance for civilian casualties. Amartya Sen critically examines how the theories of the culture of societies and theories of political economy of power and inequality explain violence in global society. Tessler and Robbins explore why terrorist violence against the U.S. garners some sympathy among some members of the Arab populace. Charles Tilly explores the definitions of “terror”, “terrorism”, and “terrorists” from a sociological perspective, and argues that they are not causal social phenomenon, but instead strategies acted upon by different groups and across various political situations. Wade and Reiter conduct quantitative tests on the hypothesis that a relationship exists between regime type and suicide terrorism. The association between mental illness and terrorist violence is reviewed by Watherston and Moran.

Journal Article 4.1: Bar-Tal, Daniel. “Sociopsychological Foundations of Intractable Conflicts.” American Behavioral Scientist 50:11 (July 2007).

Journal Article 4.2: Blazak, Randy. “White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads.” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (February 2001).

Journal Article 4.3: Burgoon, Brian. “On Welfare and Terror: Social Welfare Policies and Political-Economic Roots of Terrorism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 50:2 (April 2006).

Journal Article 4.4: Dietrich, Franz. “Anti-Terrorism Policies and the Risk of Provoking.” Journal of Theoretical Politics 26:3 (2014).

Journal Article 4.5: Gelpi, Chiristopher and Nazli Avdan. “Democracies at Risk? A Forecasting Analysis of Regime Type and the Risk of Terrorist Activity.” Conflict Management and Peace Studies 35:1 (2018).

Journal Article 4.6: Ghatak, Sambuddha and Aaron Gold. “Development, Discrimination, and Domestic Terrorism: Looking Beyond a Linear Relationship.” Conflict Management and Peace Studies 34:6 (2017).

Journal Article 4.7: Hamm, Mark S. “Apocalyptic Violence: The Seduction of Terrorist Subcultures.” Theoretical Criminology 8:3 (2004).

Journal Article 4.8: Israel, Michael. “Hate Speech and the First Amendment.” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 15:1 (February 1999).

Journal Article 4.9: Katz, Michael B. “Why Don’t American Cities Burn Very Often?” Journal of Urban History 34 (January 2008).

Journal Article 4.10: Lauderdale, Pat and Anamarie Oliverio. “Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Terrorism.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 46:1-2 (2005).

Journal Article 4.11: Lee, Elissa and Laura Leets. “Persuasive Storytelling by Hate Groups Online: Examining Its Effects on Adolescents.” American Behavioral Scientist 45:6 (February 2002).

Journal Article 4.12: Piazza, James A. “Poverty, Minority Economic Discrimination, and Domestic Terrorism.” Journal of Peace Research 48 (May 2011).

Journal Article 4.13: Ross, Jeffrey Ian. “Structural Causes of Oppositional Political Terrorism: Towards a Causal Model.” Journal of Peace Research 30:3 (1993): 317-329.

Journal Article 4.14: Sandler, Todd. “The Analytical Study of Terrorism: Taking Stock.” Journal of Peace Research (August 2013).

Journal Article 4.15: Sandler, Todd. “New Frontiers of Terrorism Research: An Introduction.” Journal of Peace Research 48 (May 2011).

Journal Article 4.16: Saygili, Aslihan. “Crackdown: How Regime Stability Shapes Democratic Responses to Hostage Taking Terrorism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution (2017).

Journal Article 4.17: Sen, Amaryta. “Violence, Identity and Poverty.” Journal of Peace Research 45 (January 2008).

Journal Article 4.18: Tessler, Mark and Michael D. H. Robbins. “What Leads Some Ordinary Arab Men and Women to Approve of Terrorist Acts Against the United States?” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51:2 (April 2007).

Journal Article 4.19: Tilly, Charles. “Terror, Terrorism, Terrorists.” Sociological Theory 22:1 (2004): 5-13.

Journal Article 4.20: Wade, Sara Jackson and Dan Reiter. “Does Democracy Matter? Regime Type and Suicide Terrorism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51:2 (April 2007).

Journal Article 4.21: Watherston, David and Jonathan Moran. “Terrorism and Mental Illness: Is There a Relationship?” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 47:6 (2003).