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Essentials of Terrorism

Essentials of Terrorism
Concepts and Controversies

Fifth Edition
  • Gus Martin - California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA
Experience with SAGE edge

September 2018 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Captivating, concise, and current, Essentials of Terrorism: Concepts and Controversies introduces readers to the modern landscape of terrorism. The Fifth Edition of Gus Martin’s renowned text covers key foundational topics by defining terrorism and introducing its history and causes, while also discussing terrorist environments (domestic, international, religious, etc.), tactics, targets, and counterterrorism. The Fifth Edition includes information regarding intelligence, counterterrorist laws, and deprivation theory, as well as new and updated sections discussing the attacks in Paris, the Benghazi attack, narco-terrorism, anti-state dissident terrorism, ISIS, and more. The text also presents new data, case studies, photos, and maps to show readers the locations of major terrorist activities and the devastation they have caused


Part I. Understanding Terrorism: A Conceptual Review
1. Defining Terrorism
Understanding Political Extremism  
Formal and Informal Definitions  
Objectives and Goals of Terrorism  
Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?  
The Political Violence Matrix  
2. Historical Perspectives and Ideological Origins
Historical Perspectives on Terrorism  
Ideological Origins of Terrorism  
September 11, 2001, and the New Terrorism  
3. Causes of Terrorist Violence
Political Violence as the Fruit of Injustice  
Political Violence as Strategic Choice  
Moral Justifications for Political Violence  
4. Terrorist Violence and the Role of the Media
Understanding the Role of the Media  
A New Battleground: The War for the Information High Ground  
Part II. Terrorist Environments
5. Terrorism by the State
Perspectives on Terrorism by Governments  
Domestic Terrorism by the State  
Terrorism as Foreign Policy  
6. Terrorism by Dissidents
Perspectives on Violent Dissent  
The Practice of Dissident Terrorism  
Terrorist Targets and Weapons  
Dissidents and the New Terrorism  
7. Religious Terrorism
Historical Perspectives on Religious Violence  
The Practice of Religious Terrorism  
Trends and Projections  
8. International Terrorism
Understanding International Terrorism  
International Terrorist Networks  
The International Dimension of the New Terrorism  
9. Domestic Terrorism in the United States
Left-Wing Extremism in the United States  
Left-Wing Terrorism in the United States  
Right-Wing Extremism in the United States  
Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States  
Understanding the Persistence of Violent Ideologies in the United States  
Part III. The Terrorist Battleground
10. Counterterrorism and the War on Terrorism
The Use of Force  
Operations Other Than War: Repressive Options  
Operations Other Than War: Conciliatory Options  
Legalistic Responses  
11. Homeland Security
Homeland Security in Perspective  
Homeland Security in the United States  
Civil Liberties and Securing the Homeland  
12. Future Trends and Projections
What Does the Future Hold?  
Revisiting the War on Terrorism  


Student Study 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 Teaching Site

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

  • Electronic and Microsoft Word® test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Sample course syllabus for semester course provides suggested model for structuring one’s course
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically
  • Video and web resources that appeal to students with different learning styles
Key features


  • Chapter Learning Objectives are found at the beginning of each chapter using Bloom’s taxonomy, introducing readers to critical thinking issues presented in the chapter.
  • New sections include “The New Terrorist Morality,” “A Theoretical Model for Ending Terrorist Campaigns,” and “Non-terrorist Mass Violence in the United States.”
  • Updated Chapter Perspectives discuss timely events and topics such as the attacks in Paris, the Benghazi attack, narco-terrorism, anti-state dissident terrorism, ISIS, and more.
  • References, examples, and boxes have been updated for currency and relevance.


  • Chapter-opening Viewpoints provide discussions and case studies on a wide range of topics.
  • Discussion boxes stimulate critical thinking and encourage classroom discussions and debates about timely topics.
  • End-of-chapter material, including Key Terms and Internet Exercises, help readers fully understand key concepts.
  • Fully updated tables and figures are included to present an empirical summary of discussions and concepts, allowing readers to conduct insightful research and analyses.
  • Carefully selected photos (approximately five per chapter) illustrate key concepts, terrorists, and events.


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ISBN: 9781544342931