Political Science 1G06 2013 II Lecture 8c International terrorism
- Political and Economic causes of terrorism?
- One argument explains modern terrorism by focusing on economic causes
- Globalization spreads its benefits very unevenly
- It creates wealth in certain areas, while other areas of the world are marginalized
- This marginalization creates the conditions in which terrorist mentalities develop
- Lacking legitimate avenues through which they can express some control of their economic,
political, and social lives, participation in the social process occurs in more violent ways
Linking the political science to the politics of the present: Evaluating the “War on Terror”
in light of the evidence:
- How to respond to terrorism?
- Following 9/11 several possibilities were available:
- 1. Treat terrorism as a military threat and respond accordingly
- This is the response that the United States ultimately took
- 2. Treat 9/11 as a criminal act rather than a military attack
- 3. Treat the root causes that led to the antiWestern hostility in the first place
- 4. Do nothing (See Mueller)
- The contemporary fixation on the problem of terrorism assumes that terrorism is, in fact, a
- But at least at a society wide level, it is not clear that it is a problem
o Or at least that it is a problem significant enough to justify all of the attention that
- This requires that we ask a number of questions:
- A) How pervasive and damaging is international terrorism?
- B) How likely is it that terrorists will acquire/use Weapons of Mass Destruction?
- C) Should worst case scenarios dominate strategic planning?
- D) Even if a worse case strike by terrorists takes place, does it represent an
“existential” threat to America?