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The Faces of Terrorism: Social and Psychological Dimensions (Science Essentials)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Terrorism is the most clear and present danger we confront today, yet no phenomenon is more poorly understood by policymakers, the media, and the general public. The Faces of Terrorism is the first serious interdisciplinary examination of terrorism in all its facets. What gives rise to it, who are its proponents and how do they think, and how--and why--does it work?

Neil Smelser begins by tackling the fundamental problem of defining what exactly terrorism is. He shows why a precise definition has eluded us until now, and he proposes one that takes into account the full complexities of this unconventional and politically charged brand of violence. He explores the root causes and conditions of terrorism, and examines the ideologies that inspire and fuel it throughout the world. Smelser looks closely at the terrorists themselves--their recruitment, their motivations, the groups they form, their intended audiences, and their uses of the media in pursuing their agendas. He studies the target societies as well, unraveling the complicated social and psychological impacts of having to cope with the ever-present threat of a terrorist strike--and responding when one occurs. He explains what it means to live under constant threat of terrorism, and addresses the thorny domestic and foreign policy challenges this poses. Throughout, Smelser draws from the latest findings in sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, psychology, psychiatry, and history.

The Faces of Terrorism provides the breadth of scope necessary to understand--and ultimately eliminate--this most pressing global threat.

Review:

"...a well-reasoned and comprehensive discussion about terrorism and counterterrorism." Joshua Sinai, Washington Times

Synopsis:

"This is a fine book, remarkably broad and encompassing in its sweep. One of its most important arguments--that social scientists are underrepresented in policy approaches to countering terrorism--is absolutely correct."--Jerrold M. Post, editor of The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders

"This is an excellent book. The topic is of great importance and the treatment of it will interest both academics and the public. Smelser effectively draws on his long and distinguished career to bring in diverse perspectives and literatures."--Robert Jervis, Columbia University

"Highly accessible and engaging. This book is rich in insights and gives the reader a deep appreciation of the manifold phenomena involved in terrorism and the responses to terrorism on levels of the individual, the state, and the international community."--Arie W. Kruglanski, University of Maryland

"This book, by one of the world's most renowned and thoughtful social scientists, seeks to demystify and illuminate our understanding of terrorism by bringing to bear on it relevant theoretical and empirical work in the behavioral and social sciences. It suggests that a thoroughgoing understanding of terrorism requires consideration not only of its causes and participatory dimensions but also of the target societies and their responses, and the role of the media in the process."--David A. Snow, University of California, Irvine

About the Author

Neil J. Smelser is university professor of sociology emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include "Social Change in the Industrial Revolution, Problematics of Sociology", and "Social Paralysis and Social Change".

Table of Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER 1: The Paradoxes of Terrorism 3

PART II: CAUSES AND DYNAMICS 9

CHAPTER 2: Conditions and Causes of Terrorism 11

CHAPTER 3: Ideological Bases of Terrorist Behavior 54

CHAPTER 4: Motivation, Social Origins, Recruitment, Groups, Audiences, and the Media in the Terrorism Process 90

PART III: CONSEQUENCES AND CONTROL 121

CHAPTER 5: Anticipating, Experiencing, and Responding to Terrorist Attacks 123

CHAPTER 6: Discouraging Terrorism 160

CHAPTER 7: The Long-Term International Context of Terrorism 200

APPENDIX: The Infernal Problems of Definition and Designation 229

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 251

REFERENCES 253

INDEX 273

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691133089
Author:
Smelser, Neil J.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Smelser, Neil
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Violence in Society
Subject:
Social Psychology
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Terrorism -- Psychological aspects.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Princeton Hardcover
Series:
Science Essentials
Publication Date:
July 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » Chemical Engineering

The Faces of Terrorism: Social and Psychological Dimensions (Science Essentials) New Hardcover
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$56.95 Backorder
Product details 288 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691133089 Reviews:
"Review" by , "...a well-reasoned and comprehensive discussion about terrorism and counterterrorism."
"Synopsis" by , "This is a fine book, remarkably broad and encompassing in its sweep. One of its most important arguments--that social scientists are underrepresented in policy approaches to countering terrorism--is absolutely correct."--Jerrold M. Post, editor of The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders

"This is an excellent book. The topic is of great importance and the treatment of it will interest both academics and the public. Smelser effectively draws on his long and distinguished career to bring in diverse perspectives and literatures."--Robert Jervis, Columbia University

"Highly accessible and engaging. This book is rich in insights and gives the reader a deep appreciation of the manifold phenomena involved in terrorism and the responses to terrorism on levels of the individual, the state, and the international community."--Arie W. Kruglanski, University of Maryland

"This book, by one of the world's most renowned and thoughtful social scientists, seeks to demystify and illuminate our understanding of terrorism by bringing to bear on it relevant theoretical and empirical work in the behavioral and social sciences. It suggests that a thoroughgoing understanding of terrorism requires consideration not only of its causes and participatory dimensions but also of the target societies and their responses, and the role of the media in the process."--David A. Snow, University of California, Irvine

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