The psychology of terrorism essay

Max Gerber] I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not. After all, group selection sounds like a reasonable extension of evolutionary theory and a plausible explanation of the social nature of humans.

The psychology of terrorism essay

Terrorism as a Category of Violence In a global war on terrorism, it is important to ask what we mean by terrorism. The usual definition of terrorism is something like "the use or threat of violence, by small groups against non-combatants of large groups, for avowed political goals.

Terrorism is the warfare of the weak, the recourse of those desperate for a cause that cannot win by conventional means. But it is worth noting that state terrorism against a state's own citizens--as practiced by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol-Pot, and many smaller-league tyrants--has killed millions of non-combatants, whereas the anti-state terrorism The psychology of terrorism essay usually focus on has killed thousands.

The distinction between combatants and non-combatants--between people in uniform and people not in uniform--has been eroding since the French Revolution.

The Revolution brought a new kind of army, a "nation in arms" that vanquished the best professional armies of Europe. Since then, the Western way of war has triumphed, and only a nation in arms has been able to beat a nation in arms. The implication of this shift is that the nation behind an army is a legitimate target of war.

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These cities had relatively few in uniform; most of the dead were old people, women, and children. As terrorism from above is not always called terrorism, so terrorism from below is not always called terrorism.

At least for some Americans, the Contras were not terrorists and the Irish Republican Army are not terrorists. It seems unlikely that the U.

The psychology of terrorism essay

Terrorism as Individual Pathology A common suggestion is that there must be something wrong with terrorists.

Terrorists must be crazy, or suicidal, or psychopaths without moral feelings or feelings for others. Thirty years ago this suggestion was taken very seriously, but thirty years of research has found psychopathology and personality disorder no more likely among terrorists than among non-terrorists from the same background.

Interviews with current and former terrorists find few with any disorder found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Comparisons of terrorists with non-terrorists brought up in the same neighborhoods find psychopathogy rates similar and low in both groups.

Another way to think about this issue is to imagine yourself a terrorist, living an underground existence cut off from all but the few who share your goals.

Your life depends on the others in your group. Would you want someone in your group suffering from some kind of psychopathology?

Someone who cannot be depended on, someone out of touch with reality? Of course there are occasional lone bombers or lone gunmen who kill for political causes, and such individuals may indeed suffer from some form of psychopathology. But terrorists in groups, especially groups that can organize attacks that are successful, are likely to be within the normal range of personality.

Indeed terrorism would be a trivial problem if only those with some kind of psychopathology could be terrorists.

Rather we have to face the fact that normal people can be terrorists, that we are ourselves capable of terrorist acts under some circumstances. This fact is already implied in recognizing that military and police forces are eminently capable of killing non-combatants in terrorism from above.

Few suggest that the broad range of military and police involved in such killing must all be abnormal. This is the edge of a slippery slope that can lead to killing non-combatants.

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Terrorism as Normal Psychology No one wakes up one morning and decides that today is the day to become a terrorist. The trajectory by which normal people become capable of doing terrible things is usually gradual, perhaps imperceptible to the individual.

This is among other things a moral trajectory, such as Horowitz has described in "The Deadly Ethnic Riot. They kill for cause and comrades, that is, with a combination of ideology and intense small-group dynamics.COMMUNIQUE #3 Haymarket Issue "I NEED ONLY MENTION in passing that there is a curious reappearance of the Catfish tradition in the popular Godzilla cycle of films which arose after the nuclear chaos unleashed upon Japan.

A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah Essay Viewing Terrorism through Social Psychology Words | 6 Pages.

Acts of terrorism are becoming increasingly common in today's society. Intimate Terrorism: The Crisis of Love in an Age of Disillusion [Michael Vincent Miller Ph.D.] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. We live in an age when love and power have become virtually interchangeable.

Intimate Terrorism is a profound and beautifully written exploration of this condition that draws from psychology. In the global war on terrorism, it is pertinent to query what is meant by terrorism.

The common definition of terrorism is to some extent ‘the use or threat of violence, by small groups against non-combatants of large groups, for avowed political goals.’1 (McCauley, ).

The Psychology of Terrorist Group Recruitment Essay - Introduction One of the most complex aspects of counterterrorism (CT) for the intelligence community (IC), law enforcement (LE), and CT communities is the psychology of terrorism.

The psychology of terrorism essay