Searching for the end of terrorism

This book is not only about Jihadist terrorism but rather a book that studies the end of terrorism in general:

Cronin notes that what usually brings terrorists to the negotiating table are generally threats to the organization itself rather than to its putative political purpose. She finds that terrorist groups rarely abandon the armed struggle due to achieving their official political goals. This conclusion is expected given the fact that terrorist groups virtually never attain their given political aims, a point underscored in this reviewer’s 2006 study in International Security, which compared the abysmal success rate of terrorist campaigns to other forms of protest.[2] Her case studies do, however, bolster the thesis that terrorism is inherently politically counterproductive by hardening governments and discouraging them from making concessions. She sensibly focuses on the handful of terrorist groups in modern history that achieved their policy demands such as the African National Congress and shows that they did so “despite the use of violence against innocent civilians [rather] than because of it.” The author is quick to point out that this does not mean terrorism accomplishes nothing at all; as previous studies have shown, terrorist acts can undercut the organization’s professed political agenda while simultaneously boosting membership, morale, and cohesion.[3]

So how then does terrorism end? By provoking government repression, its perpetrators have occasionally been stamped out. In fact, Cronin observes that “it is difficult to find cases” where governments did not use repressive measures, digging in their political heels. This does not mean that she endorses a policy of outright repression, however, since this response risks backfiring by turning the local population against the government and ultimately invigorating the terrorist group. A more frequent way for terrorism to end is by alienating potential supporters.

via Review of How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns :: Middle East Quarterly.


One comment on “Searching for the end of terrorism

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AIC, Claudia. Claudia said: Searching for the end of terrorism: […]

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