From time to time I get papers written by grad students…..and the interesting ones I try to share with the readers IST…..
Just a few short years ago terrorism was all the buzz….today not so much……
Does terrorism work?
That is the question for the ages.
Some will say it does not….while others may disagree…..
This paper takes a look at the question…..
Terrorism is one of the most widely discussed issues in the twenty-first century due to the increasing terrorist occurrences and its destructive impacts, especially since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Terrorist incidences in the world reached its peak in 2014 with about 16,903 attacks leading to 32,658 fatalities (Global Terrorism Index, 2015). However, there was a fifty-two per cent reduction in the number of deaths associated with terrorist incidences in 2018 compared to 2014 (Global Terrorism Index, 2019). While there is a decline in the number of deaths attributed to terrorism, its impact remains prevalent. For instance, there is an upsurge in the number of countries that experienced terrorism in 2018 with at least one causality from seventy-one countries, which is the second highest in the past twenty years (Global Terrorism Index, 2019). The increasing nature of terrorist attacks has led to the intensification of scholarly interest in terrorism and terrorism-related issues. To this end, prior research has examined the definitions, causes, effects and strategies used by terrorist groups (Halliday, 2001; John, 2014; Elu and Gregory, 2015). However, it seems that the few studies that have examined the effectiveness of terrorism as a means of political struggle have been inconclusive.
In order to understand the reason for the continued existence of terrorism and its proliferation, it is crucial to examine if terrorism works, that is, if it achieves its stated objectives. This essay will contribute to the ongoing discussion on the effectiveness of terrorism by arguing that the answer to the question “Does terrorism work?” depends on our definition of “terrorism” and “work”. These concepts are a subject of debate, and as a result, there may not be one formula for measuring whether terrorism is effective. Thus, the success-level of terrorism is determined by various factors, especially by how it is evaluated. For example, while Dershowitz (2002:13) understands success in terms of attracting media attention and securing temporal concessions, Abrahms (2006:51) perceives it as the achievement the organisation’s central strategic objectives. Consequently, this essay will contend that although terrorist organisations rarely achieve their strategic goals, they often succeed in the achievement of other objectives.
You tell me…does terrorism work?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”