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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education


A Critical Introduction

ISBN 9780230221178
Publication Date June 2011
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

In the years since 9/11, terrorism has been transformed into an issue of global significance. Terrorism and the war on terror has affected virtually every aspect of modern life, and a precise understanding of terrorism is now more important – and contentious – than ever.

This innovative text provides a much-needed critical introduction to terrorism. Cutting-edge research on contemporary issues is combined with new insights into long-debated issues such as the definition of terrorism, the nature of the terrorist threat and counter-terrorism strategies. Showing that the methods we adopt as well as the material we study are vital for a clear understanding of the subject, this text goes beyond traditional IR approaches to rethink popular beliefs and assumptions about terrorism. Taking a genuinely global and integrated approach, this book is an ideal entry into the study of terrorism.

The text is supported by:

• International case studies from around the world
• A detailed glossary introducing key actors, events and concepts relating to terrorism
• Learning aids to stimulate critical thinking, including discussion questions, further readings and selected web resources

  • Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles of 2012

RICHARD JACKSON is Deputy Director at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand.
LEE JARVIS is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Swansea University, UK.

JEROEN GUNNING is a Reader in Middle East Politics and Conflict Studies, Durham University, UK. He was founder and deputy director of the Centre for the Study of 'Radicalisation'  and Contemporary Political Violence (CSRV) at Aberyswyth University from 2005-2010.
MARIE BREEN-SMYTH is Professor in International Politics, University of Surrey, UK. She was founder and deputy director of the Centre for the Study of 'Radicalisation' and Contemporary Political Violence (CSRV) at Aberyswyth University from 2005-2010.

The Orthodox Study of Terrorism
Critical Approaches to Terrorism Studies
The Cultural Construction of Terrorism
Bringing Gender into the Study of Terrorism
Conceptualizing Terrorism
Reconsidering the Terrorism Threat
Types of Terrorism
Understanding State Terrorism
The Causes of Non-State Terrorism
Responding to Non-State Terrorism
Assessing the War on Terror.


A superb critical introduction to both the field of terrorism research and to our understanding of the phenomena associated with terrorism. Wide ranging, well written and pitched to the student audience, it is easily the best introduction to the subject.' – Michael Stohl, University of California, USA
'An admirably organised and comprehensive volume which provides a critical approach with which all serious students of terrorism must engage – whether they agree with it or not. This research-based text is an important addition to teaching materials on a vital area of public policy.' – Ken Booth, Aberystwyth University, UK
'Refreshing and wide-ranging, this is a long-overdue and valuable addition to the literature.' – Ruth Blakeley, University of Kent, UK
'A sustained breeze of fresh air focused on a subject – or obsession – that desperately needs it.' – John Mueller, Ohio State University, USA'
Here at last is the much-needed textbook that critically dissects terrorism's myths and realities from a critical perspective. Intellectually sophisticated, it is based on the most up-to-date tools of current scholarship.' – Joseba Zulaika, University of Nevada, USA
'[A]n innovative book that is designed to change how we teach and research terrorism ... [it] brings a fresh and well-developed alternative to the traditional literature ... A great strength of the book is the way in which it challenges academics writing in this field to be reflective about their analytical categories and normative commitments.' – Tim Dunne, International Affairs
'[T]he authors have very successfully achieved their goal of broadening and deepening the field of terrorism studies, providing an important resource and stimulus for further critical engagement with the theoretical and empirical issues related to terrorism.' – Kathryn Fisher, Millennium
'Over the last decade, a number of very good books on the study of terrorism have come to the fore. However, the current entry by Jackson et al. is at the very top of the list in terms of comprehensiveness and usefulness ... [T]his authoritative book provides incredible insight into and analysis of both the myths and the realities surrounding terrorism – from early days to the present. In short, this book's scope, focus, and critical assessment are long overdue in the literature.' – W. Jakub, CHOICE
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