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International Terrorism.docx

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Western University
History 1601E

International Terrorism Directly or indirectly affects the policies of all actors in global politics, and terrorists activity often stretches across borders and regions Sept 11 raised profile of international terrorism to a brand new level International terrorism as the most important security threat Terrorism traditionally:  Weapon of the weak  Employed by individuals or groups seeking to reject authority  Generate social change  Promote revolution  Spread fear  E.g. 1. Zealots, Jewish sect in using assassinations to force Roman Empire out of Palestine 2. Middle East, hashashin Muslims carried out many political and religious killings 3. Group of English Catholics conspired to blow up James I th 4. 19 century, political assassinations 5. WWI begun with terrorism No universally accepted definition of terrorism Paul Wilkinson’s definition of terrorism: individuals and groups are not the only perpetrators of terrorism State terrorism: employed by states within their own borders to suppress dissent and silence opposition  E.g 1. Roman emperor Nero killed large numbers of suspected political opponents 2. French Revolution: terrorism employed as a tool 3. South Africa: Apartheid, killed political opponents 4. Khmer Rouge in Cambodia murdered mass to “purify” nation State-sponsored terrorism: support of international terrorist groups by government The Origins and Causes of Terrorism  State terrorism 1. Eliminate political oppression  Non-state terrorism 1. Individual and Group Psychology: identity, obligation etc 2. Ideological fanaticism: promotion of ideology 3. Religious Fanaticism: religious extremism 4. Grievance and Cycles of Violence: target of discrimination and repression 5. Nationalism and Separatism: those who desire greater political autonomy or full independence 6. Activist Fanaticism: specific issue, abortion, animal rights etc W. Bush-War on terror Motive for Sept 11  Anti- American sentiment was built on wide array of grievances including US support for Israel/ repression of Palestinian people  US assistance to repressive regimes in the Islamic world  Reaction against Western modernization War in Afghanistan  Pressure Taliban government to surrender Bin Laden and al-Qaeda  Operation did not have explicit authorization of UN—illegal  Self defence?  Afghanistan responsible for 90% opium, which financed their activities War on terror critics:  War on Islam  Western crusade  Emphasis on military power in US counterterrorism policy seen as misplacement and counterproductive  Global protest of US violation of Human Rights and International Law  Raised civil liberties concerns Contemporary international terrorism  Bombs and suicide bombers will continue to be dominant form of terrorism  Growing link between different terrorist individuals and groups  Terrorist network  Globalization is enhancing terrorist threat  Different motivations 1. Religious or cult beliefs 2. Racial hatred  Turned away from hijackings and targeting killings towards more indiscriminate killing Combating terrorism  Root cause  Government employ military against them  Reduce vulnerability of country and people  Strengthen international cooperation on counterterrorism  Media when covering terrorism might encourage their acts International Organized Crime  Drug Trade  International banking, investment etc  Human trafficking Criminal organizations  Threat to government  Erode social fabric of country  Questions government ability Expansion of Crime into international activity  Growth of global interdependence  Collapse of communism in SU  Growth of capitalism in China  Establishment of free trade areas and custom unions  Weakening of state authority Intrastate Conflict  Communal conflicts—wars between communal groups of all types 1) Ethnic conflicts 2) Conflicts between religious communities 3) Conflicts between clans 4) Conflicts between political factions 5) Class relations  Communal groups 1) Sense of common identity  Ethnicity  Historical experience or myth  Religious beliefs  Region of residence  Familial ties 2) Gurr: “a psychological community” that is enduring and differentiates the group from others 3) Nation-states often aspire to communal status  The modern state spends time and money on fostering solidarity at the
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