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Understanding Terrorism
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Understanding Terrorism
Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues

Sixth Edition
  • Gus Martin - California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA
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September 2017 | 552 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“[Gus Martin] has expertly curated the most important topics and sources in the field and put them together in an ideal manner to assist students in understanding the breadth and complexity of modern-day terrorism. Coupled with the instructor and student resources, this text is a perfect introduction to the field.”

—Ryan Vogel, Director of National Security Studies, Utah Valley University

 

Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues offers a multidisciplinary, comprehensive exploration of domestic and international terrorism that helps students develop the knowledge and skills needed to critically assess the expressions and underlying causes of terrorism.

 

The Sixth Edition has been updated with new information on terrorist attacks and organizations, as well as key topics such as failed states, the lone-wolf model, state terrorism, human rights violations, and cyberterrorism. Discussion of policies and counterterrorism has been augmented to help students understand the challenges, perspectives, and issues relevant to terrorism today.

 

Give your students the SAGE edge!

 

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at edge.sagepub.com/martin6e.

 


 
Timeline: Two Thousand Years of Terror
 
About the Author
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction and Rationale
 
Part I. Terrorism: A Conceptual Review
 
1. Terrorism: First Impressions
First Considerations

 
Conceptual Considerations: Understanding Political Violence

 
The Past as Prologue: Historical Perspectives on Terrorism

 
Terrorism and Criminal Skill: Three Cases From the Modern Era

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Total War

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
2. The Nature of the Beast: Defining Terrorism
Understanding Extremism: The Foundation of Terrorism

 
Defining Terrorism: An Ongoing Debate

 
A Definitional Problem: Perspectives on Terrorism

 
The Political Violence Matrix

 
Case in Point: The Orlando Mass Shooting— An Act of Terrorism and a Hate Crime

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Cold War Revolutionaries

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
3. Beginnings: The Causes of Terrorism
Political Violence as Strategic Choice

 
Political Violence as the Fruit of Injustice

 
Moral Justifications for Political Violence

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Bloody Sunday and Black September

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
Part II. The Terrorists
 
4. Terror From Above: Terrorism by the State
The State as Terrorist: A State Terrorism Paradigm

 
Violence Abroad: Terrorism as Foreign Policy

 
Violence at Home: Terrorism as Domestic Policy

 
The Problem of Accountability: Monitoring State Terrorism

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Authoritarianism and Democracy

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
5. Terror From Below: Terrorism by Dissidents
The Rebel as Terrorist: A Dissident Terrorism Paradigm

 
Warring Against the State: Antistate Dissident Terrorism

 
Warring Against a People: Communal Terrorism

 
Operational Shifts: Dissidents and the New Terrorism

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: The Tamil Tigers

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
6. Violence in the Name of the Faith: Religious Terrorism
Primary and Secondary Motives: The Idiosyncratic Quality of Religious Terrorism

 
Historical Cases in Point: Fighting, Dying, and Killing in the Name of the Faith

 
State-Sponsored Religious Terrorism in the Modern Era

 
Dissident Religious Terrorism in the Modern Era

 
The Future of Religious Terrorism

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: The One True Faith

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
7. Violent Ideologies: Terrorism From the Left and Right
Reactionaries and Radicals: The Classical Ideological Continuum

 
Left-Wing Ideologies and Activism

 
Class Struggle and National Liberation: The Terrorist Left

 
Right-Wing Activism and Extremism

 
Race and Order: The Terrorist Right

 
Violent Ideologies in the New Era of Terrorism

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box 7.1: Young Nationalist Idealists

 
Discussion Box 7.2: Order From Chaos 194 On Your Own

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
8. Terrorist Spillovers: International Terrorism
Defining International Terrorism

 
Globalized Revolution: Reasons for International Terrorism

 
Globalized Solidarity: International Terrorist Networks

 
The International Dimension of the New Terrorism

 
Postscript: The “Stateless Revolutionaries”

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Understanding Terrorist “Spillovers”: Middle Eastern and North African Spillovers in Europe

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
9. Emerging Terrorist Environments: Gender-Selective Political Violence and Criminal Dissident Terrorism
Culture and Conflict: Gender-Selected Victims of Terrorist Violence

 
Protecting the Enterprise: Criminal Dissident Terrorism

 
A Global Problem: Regional Cases of Criminal Dissident Terrorism

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Political Violence Against Women: Gender Communal Terrorism?

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
Part III. The Terrorist Trade and Counterterrorism
 
10. Tools of the Trade: Tactics and Targets of Terrorists
The Purpose: Terrorist Objectives

 
The Means: Terrorist Methods

 
The Focus: Terrorist Targets

 
The Outcome: Is Terrorism Effective?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Attacks Against the U.S. Marine and French Paratrooper Headquarters in Beirut

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
11. The Information Battleground: Terrorist Violence and the Role of the Media
Two Perspectives: The Media and Governments

 
Understanding the Role of the Media

 
A New Battleground: The War for the Information High Ground

 
The Public’s Right to Know: Regulating the Media

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Freedom of Reporting and Security Issues

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
12. The American Case: Terrorism in the United States
An Introduction to the American Case

 
Background to Terrorism: Left-Wing Activism and Ideological Extremism in America

 
Left-Wing Terrorism in the United States

 
Background to Terrorism: Right-Wing Activism and Ideological Extremism in America

 
Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States

 
International Terrorism in the United States

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Domestic Terrorism in the American Context

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
Part IV. Securing the Homeland
 
13. Counterterrorism: The Options
Responding to Terror: The Scope of Options

 
Warlike Operations: Counterterrorism and the Use of Force

 
Operations Other Than War: Repressive Options

 
Operations Other Than War: Conciliatory Options

 
Applying the Rule of Law: Legalistic Options

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: The Utility of Elite Counterterrorist Units

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
14. A New Era: Homeland Security
Homeland Security in Perspective

 
The American Case: Homeland Security in the United States

 
Civil Liberties and Securing the Homeland

 
Chapter Summary

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: After the Next 9/11

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Websites

 
Web Exercise

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
15. What Next? The Future of Terrorism
An Overview of Near-Term Projections

 
The Future of Terrorism: Terrorist Environments in the 21st Century

 
The Future of Terrorism: New Threats

 
Controlling Terrorism: Ending Terrorist Campaigns and New Challenges

 
Final Considerations: Terrorism in the United States

 
Chapter Summary

 
A Final Thought

 
Key Terms and Concepts

 
Prominent Persons and Organizations

 
Discussion Box: Toward Big Brother?

 
On Your Own

 
Recommended Readings

 
 
Appendix A: Map References
 
Appendix B: Prominent Persons and Organization
 
Glossary of Terms
 
Notes
 
Index

Supplements

Student Resource Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to selected full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.
  • Carefully selected, web-based video resources feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • Web exercises and meaningful web links facilitate student use of internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions.
Instructor Resouce Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.
  • Sample course syllabi provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses. 
  • Carefully selected, web-based video resources feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • Original videos feature interviews with the author to provide students with contemporary examples that relate back to the chapter content.

“Highly recommend. It is student friendly and easily taught.”

John Comiskey
Monmouth University, Department of Criminal Justice

“[Gus Martin] has expertly curated the most important topics and sources in the field and put them together in an ideal manner to assist students in understanding the breadth and complexity of modern-day terrorism.  Coupled with the instructor and student resources, this text is a perfect introduction to the field.”

Ryan Vogel
Director of National Security Studies, Utah Valley University

“Comprehensive and broad and covers most of the material needed for a class on terrorism. I recommend it.” 

Ibrahim Zabad
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the International Studies Program, St. Bonaventure University

“The latest edition of Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues by Gus Martin is a well-thought-out, detailed, scholarly work that is a must-read for students engaged in terrorism studies—either in the undergraduate or graduate level. Each chapter covers a specific topic key to understanding the terrorist threat, both domestic and international. The text has a wealth of student and instructor resources to enhance the learning experience.”

Daniel Cutrer
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

“This is a comprehensive textbook designed for students with no background on the subject and told through a voice that is both authoritative and easy to understand.”

Michael Loadenthal
Miami University of Oxford

“A very complete introductory text that focuses on the history and modern expressions of violent extremism. It pays special attention to countering terrorism on the homeland and has a series of pedagogical features that make it very well suited for the undergraduate classroom.”

Neil Shortland
Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell

“This is a strong text on terrorism, including actors, motivations, and events. It covers counterterrorism and future trends that illustrate to the student not only the threat but also ways to combat the threat. The writing is strong, the examples are relevant, and most topics are covered.”

Paul Byrd
Des Moines Area Community College

“This is a very interesting work and offers many useful material for the classroom. Students should be able to have a well-rounded educational experience and use, or in some cases develop, critical thinking skills. The text has may tools available to help the instructor in the classroom in presenting and testing the material the student is expected to learn.”

Andy F. Nazario
Eastern New Mexico University

This is a must have for students studying terrorism, policing and transnational organised crime

Ms Tina Billington-Hughes
School of Applied Social Sciences, De Montfort University
June 19, 2019
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • An examination of new opportunities and threats related to technology familiarizes students with a variety of new and changing technologies such as cyberterrorism, drones, social networking media, counterterrorism intelligence, and Internet surveillance.  
  • Current strategies in terrorism are evaluated to give students a better understanding of the latest tactics, including the lone-wolf model, gender-selective terrorism with ISIS, the threat from asymmetrical warfare, and fourth-generation war.
  • A new appendix describes prominent persons and organizations related to terrorism, including an expanded discussion of emerging organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic Maghreb, the Abu Sayyaf Group, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the neofascist environment in Europe.
  • Updated data and statistics from agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism offer students the most current statistics and research on terrorism and counterterrorism efforts.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The book offers a broad multidisciplinary examination of contemporary terrorism that helps contextualize terrorism for students. Its thorough exploration of theory and history from a wide variety of perspectives ensures that readers develop a deep understanding of the current state of terrorism.
  • Accessible Style: The author explains theory and provides in-depth analysis in an accessible, engaging manner that helps readers develop the knowledge and skills they need.
  • Opening Viewpoints: At the beginning of each chapter, these boxes present relevant examples of theories and themes that will be discussed in the following chapter—grabbing readers’ attention and drawing them into the material.
  • Chapter in Perspective: Chapters incorporate focused presentations in special interest boxes that explore people, events, organizations, and movements that are relevant to the chapter.
  • Discussion Boxes: Each chapter concludes with discussion boxes that highlight controversial issues and pose challenging questions to stimulate critical thinking and debate.
  • Wide-ranging Illustration Program: A variety of photos, charts, graphs, and maps help students appreciate and understand the events and people covered in the book.

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