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Unformatted text preview: What is terrorism? Bruce Hoffman 1. Introduction Terrorism is: • Political: the pursuit of power and its use to achieve a political change • Violence: used and directed in the pursuit of a political aim • It is planned, calculated and a systematic act Terrorist: Anyone who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation 2. Why is terrorism so difficult to define? • Terrorist groups want to evoke images of: o Freedom and liberation o Armies or other military organizational structures o Actual self-defense movements o Righteous vengeance • Characteristics of terrorists o Perceive themselves as reluctant warriors driven by desperation to violence against a repressive state o Self-denial o Never acknowledge that they are terrorist o Argue that society itself is the terrorist • Terrorism: the act of violence itself, not the motivations or justifications for or reasons behind it, o This definition fails to differentiate between violence done by states and by nonstarters entities...
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course IR 109 taught by Professor Heinz during the Spring '10 term at Rochester.
- Spring '10