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Terrorism- Reasons and Opportunities.doc

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Social Sciences
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Terrorism: reasons and opportunities
1. Terrorism can arise as a result of many different factors and can be used by many
different types of groups seeking many different goals.
2. What are the likely settings for terrorism?
1. Reasons vs. opportunities
3. Terrorists are rational actors.
Reasons vs. opportunities
(preconditions for terrorism)
Factors that “set the stage for terrorism in the long run” (p. 381)
Modernization (p. 381)
• Urbanization
Social ‘Facilitation’
Transnational communication
Government’s inability to prevent terrorism
Concrete grievances by an identifiable minority of the population (p. 383)
Lack of opportunity for political participation
Government use of “unexpected and unusual force in response to protest” (p. 384)
Terrorists as rational
Are terrorists rational?
Terrorists view the context and if there are reasons and opportunities then they will take
Terrorists want to achieve similar short-term objectives (p. 386). They may try to:
Gain recognition
Disrupt and discredit the government
Affect public attitudes in positive or negative ways
Provoke a harsh response from the government
Rally members/supporters to their cause (serve internal organizational functions)
(p. 387)
Linguistic and ethnic divides within Europe. It is where these boundaries intersect where we can
expect to see ethnic conflict – especially where there are lacunae.

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