Synopses & Reviews
Richard English argues here that the post-9/11 War on Terror has spectacularly failed and that we now need a radically new approach to dealing with international terrorism. Recent policies have ignored the lessons of the past, and Terrorism: How to Respond
seeks to remedy this lack of vision by looking at the long history of terrorism and assessing why such violence emerges, how it is sustained, and--most crucially of all--how and why it ends.
Written by an historian who has long studied Irish terrorism and politics, this book argues that we cannot adequately respond to the practical challenge of terrorist violence around the world unless we are more honest about the precise nature of the phenomenon, and about explaining its true and complex causes. Drawing on first-hand research into terrorist organizations, Richard English offers an authoritative and accessible analysis of arguably the most urgent political problem of the twenty-first century--and how we can successfully respond to it.
"[A] definitive history of the IRA" -- The New York Review of Books
"This is a very fine book. It is elegant and persuasively argued from a man who really does know what he is talking about. The long view of Richard English is vital in an age of the knee-jerk."--Fergal Keane, BBC Special Correspondent
"Richard English is the author of outstanding histories of the IRA and Irish nationalism. Thoughtful scholarship lies at the heart of his fine analysis of terrorism as both a military and a political problem...In exploring this huge subject, English makes many telling points...while using history to console us with the thought that many terrorist movements eventually atrophy, provided societies have the resilience to see them out"--Literary Review
"Western governments continue to need constant admonitions, such as English provides, to adopt proportionate rather than draconian responses"--Sunday Times
"If you want to read one book which explains the phenomenon of terrorism, gives you a good historical grasp of the subject while also providing a dispassionate roadmap to guide you through the term's complex meanderings and its many intellectual cul-de-sacs, then this is the book for you. It is outstanding: short and beautifully written, it manages also to be thoroughly on top of its subject"--Irish Times
"[a] provocative primer"--Publishers Weekly
"a sober corrective to some dangerous recent misconceptions." --Prospect
"'thoughtful, informed meditation on the state of terrorism research."--Foreign Affairs
"English negotiates a sophisticated path through the questions of definition and explanation that have long dominated this field...[The book] retains a credibility and persuasiveness lacked by many of its competitors...[and] advances our understanding of terrorism, its costs and its consequences considerably."--International Affairs
"a thought-provoking primer for politicians seeking something to stimulate them."--The American Conservative
About the Author
is Professor of Politics at Queen's University, Belfast, and author of the award-winning Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA
Table of Contents
1. What is Terrorism?
2. Why do People Resort to Terror?
3. What can we Learn from Terrorism Past?
4. How Should We Respond?