An Introduction to Terrorism Research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Terrorism is being increasingly seen as one of the most serious, disturbing and damaging problems of life in our time. Research on terrorism is not abstract science; it involves real people with real lives which are ruined, changed and controlled by the processes under study. Organized and planned campaigns of violence do not happen within a vacuum and they are not driven by trivial or fleeting motivations which reside in, and are shared only by, the perpetrators. Terrorism is not the result of psychopathy or mental illness. After 30 years of research all that psychologists can safely say of terrorists is that their outstanding characteristic is their normality. Terrorism is not the work of madmen or devils, and to try and fight it on those terms is to fight it with a very mistaken concept of who your enemies are and why others may support and sympathise with them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on Terrorism
Subtitle of host publicationTrends, Achievements and Failures
EditorsAndrew Silke
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFrank Cass
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780429233760
ISBN (Print)9780714682730, 9780714653112
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • terrorism studies
  • research on terrorism

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