Inside Terrorism (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

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9780231174770: Inside Terrorism (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)
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Bruce Hoffman's Inside Terrorism has remained the seminal work for understanding the historical evolution of terrorism and the terrorist mind-set. In this revised third edition of his classic text, Hoffman analyzes the latest developments in global terrorism, offering insight into new adversaries, motivations, strategies, and tactics. He focuses on the rise of ISIS and the resilience of al-Qaeda; terrorist exploitation of the Internet and embrace of social media; radicalization of foreign fighters; and potential future trends, including the repercussions of a post-caliphate ISIS.

Hoffman examines the demographics of contemporary terrorist leaders and recruits; the continued use of suicide bombers; and the likelihood of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear terrorist strike. He also considers the resurgence of violent antigovernment militants, including white supremacists and opponents of abortion. He argues that the war on terrorism did not end with Osama bin Laden's death and that ongoing instability and strife in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen, among other places, will both sustain terrorist movements and have broad implications for domestic and international security around the globe.

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Review:

The word "terrorism" first became popular during the French Revolution, when the régime de la terreur was initially viewed as a positive political system that used fear to remind citizens of the necessity of virtue. The use of violence to "educate" people about ideological issues has continued, but it has taken on decidedly negative connotations--and has become predominantly, though not exclusively, a tactic deployed by those who do not have the powers of state at their disposal.

Bruce Hoffman, the director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, has written a clear summary of some of the major historical trends in international terrorism. He makes careful distinctions between the motivations that drive political (or ethno-nationalist) terrorism and religious terrorism, and he also shows why the rise of religious terrorism, coupled with the increased availability of weapons of mass destruction, may foretell an era of even greater violence. In the past, Hoffman argues, the main goal of the terrorist was not to kill, but to attract media attention to his cause in the hope of initiating reform. "For the religious terrorist," however, "violence is first and foremost a sacramental act or divine duty executed in direct response to some theological demand or imperative ... religious terrorists see themselves not as components of a system worth preserving but as 'outsiders,' seeking fundamental changes in the existing order." Hoffman does not "choose sides" in this framework, pointing to the bombings of the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City and to the sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo in order to demonstrate that fundamentalists of any religious denomination are capable of extreme acts of terrorism.

About the Author:

Bruce Hoffman is a professor at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program. He is also a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center and a visiting professor of terrorism studies at St. Andrews University. Hoffman is the editor of the Columbia University Press series Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare, coeditor of The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden's Death (Columbia, 2014), and author of Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917–1947 (2015).

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780231126991: Inside Terrorism (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

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ISBN 10:  0231126999 ISBN 13:  9780231126991
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 2006
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9780231174763: Inside Terrorism (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

Columb..., 2017
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9780231126984: Inside Terrorism (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

Columb..., 2006
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9780231114684: Inside Terrorism

Columb..., 1998
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9780231114691: Inside Terrorism

Columb..., 1999
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