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Since the events of September 11, 2001, the uses of the word terrorism seem to have multiplied, and it has never been clearer that one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. The No-Nonsense Guide to Terrorism looks at debates about September 11 and the responses to it, but also analyses the causes and contexts of terrorism the world over. Jonathan Barker provides a highly accessible historical sketch of terrorism, looking at core examples from the Middle East, instances of state terrorism, and the existence of a terrorist fringe to political movements such as anti-apartheid. He guides readers through the moral and political theories justifying and guiding terrorist acts and draws attention to the battle of images and ideas that accompanies them. The book moves away from moral judgements, demonstrating how social analysts and psychologists view the dynamics of terrorism. Furthermore it examines the consequences of terrorist acts for popular politics.
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Jonathan Barker is a writer living in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Street-Level Democracy and Rural Communities under Stress. He retired recently from thirty years of teaching politics and development issues at the University of Toronto and at the University of Dar es Salaam.From Publishers Weekly:
This thorough primer will probably appeal more to readers of Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky than to readers of more mainstream analysts of current affairs. Barker, a writer and researcher who taught political science at the University of Toronto, offers his discussion of terrorism, which for him includes "group" terrorism-by al Qaeda, for example-and state terrorism, such as government death squads. Some may disagree with his narrow definition of al Qaeda's goals as "to challenge and weaken the global power of the U.S. and to drive U.S. influence from the holy places of Islam." But Barker offers a reasoned, calm discussion of how to define terrorism, how it manifests itself, the motivations of its practitioners and the need for clear thinking in assessing the risks and necessary reactions. One might want to complement this with other readings, but it's a useful starting place.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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