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Political Science
Spyridon Kotsovilis

POL208 Article Review Hoffman, "What is Terrorism?” pp. 198-204 Kwan Lok (Anthony) YIU 1000083214 TA: Michael Kunz (Thursday 11-12) Date Submitted: 21 November, 13 The term “terrorism” is one of those ambiguous terms, similar to words such as “nice”, which used to indicate silliness in 14 century; nowadays it means everything that is slightly positive (vague much?). Scholar Bruce Hoffman attempted in defining the word “terrorism”. In his attempt, he realized how impossible is it to define the term, given that it is an obscure idea that lacks precise definition for the following reasons: First of all, media distorted the term by over-applying the term on a broad range of violence activities for attracting viewers attentions. Secondly, the term has different usage at variable time, notably terrorists do not associate themselves with the term “terrorist”, rather with terms like “freedom”, “Self-Defense Movement”. Generally, it is a derogatory term and it is subjective, in that by calling someone else a terrorist you are attempting to convey others your own morale point of view. In addition, Hoffman analyzed the definition provided by the group in NATO (North Atlantic Subcommittee of Terrorism), but it can only explain the terrorists’ actions, neither of their ideology nor justifications were included; moreover it equates terrorism to “high budget” violence activities such as Nagasaki incident. Hoffman then compared terrorism with military jargon, guerilla warfare, criminals, assassins and extremists. Through comparison, he identified terrorists’ unique characteristics: they are unarmed altruist orga
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