“Counterterrorism Bookshelf” – 27 Books on Terrorism & Counter-terrorism Related Subjects

“Counterterrorism Bookshelf” – 27 Books on Terrorism & Counter-terrorism Related Subjects

by Joshua Sinai

This column consists of two parts: capsule reviews of nine books on terrorism and counterterrorism-related topics, and — continuing the series begun in previous columns of highlighting books by significant publishers (listed in alphabetical order) — capsule reviews of 18 books published by Hurst, Oxford University Press, Polity Press, and Rowman & Littlefield. Please note that most of these books were recently published, with several others released over the past few years but deserving renewed interest.

Note: Future columns will review books by publishers such as Routledge, Springer, Stanford University Press, and the University of Chicago Press.

General Reviews

Eli Berman, Radical, Religious and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009. 314 pp., US$ 24.95 [Hardcover], US$ 18.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0262516679.

A methodologically innovative account of how certain radical religious sects turn to terrorism to achieve their religio-political objectives and the methods they employ in managing such entities, including recruiting and indoctrinating their operatives to conduct such warfare on their behalf.  The author’s conceptual framework is applied to the cases of Hamas, Hizballah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban. Readers may not agree with the author’s thesis that such religiously-based terrorist groups are not generally motivated by the promise of rewards in the afterlife or in imposing rigid theocracies over their societies, but are “rational altruists” in pursuit of generally secular objectives, such as improving their own communities. However, he makes the valid point that, like their secular terrorist group counterparts, these groups are successful at maintaining the loyalty of their operatives and supporting constituencies through various mechanisms such as what he terms “the defection constraint” and the provision of basic social welfare services, including educational institutions. The author recommends that government counterterrorism services need to incorporate into their response measures components that provide alternatives to such social welfare services in order to effectively turn their supporting constituencies over to the government side in order to defeat religiously-based terrorism in the long term. The author is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.

Raul Caruso and Andrea Locatelli, eds., Understanding Terrorism: A Socio-Economic Perspective. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd., 2014. 300 pp., US$ 124.95. [Hardcover] ISBN-13: 978-1783508273.

The contributors to this highly interesting edited volume apply methodologies from the disciplines of economics, social science and political science to examine the phenomenon of terrorism. Chapters focus on topics such as defining terrorism, examining the identity, strategy and values of terrorism as “a political world,” the economic determinants of terrorism, modeling terrorist attacks, using the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) to measure the impact of terrorist attacks, using economic analysis to examine lone wolf terrorism, examining the phenomenon of homegrown terrorism, analysing cyberterrorism, examining the link between terrorism, organised crime and what the authors term “new wars,” and examining the effectiveness of the components of security measures against terrorism. Raul Caruso is a professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and Andrea Locatelli is a professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, both in Milan, Italy.

Christopher C. Harmon, A Citizen’s Guide to Terrorism and Counterterrorism. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 170 pp., US$ 19.95, [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0415709422.

An interesting, comprehensive and succinct overview of terrorism and counterterrorism. Focusing primarily on the United States, the book is divided into three parts: the threat (the nature of terrorism and citizens’ vulnerabilities to being attacked by terrorist actors), the strategy (the components of a grand counterterrorism strategy), and the future (what needs to be done in response and how terrorist groups have been defeated in the past). The author, a veteran academic expert on terrorism and counterterrorism, is Horner Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University, in Quantico, Virginia.

Benjamin Ginsberg, The Value of Violence. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2013. 250 pp., US$24.95. [Hardcover] ISBN-13: 978-1616148317.

A theoretically interesting account of the role of violence in political life, whether as “law-preserving violence” to maintain social order or as a means, such as insurrection, to bring about social and political change. The book’s chapters cover topics such as governmental bureaucracy and violence, America as a “tough nation,” the balance between morality and violence, and the role of violence in bringing about change. The author’s conclusion, while highly provocative, is also quite insightful: “Violence is terrible, but its alternative is not the Kingdom of Heaven. Not only is violence a great engine of political change but, much as we dislike admitting it, violence is also the great driver of science and even culture. After all, along with love, violence inspires poetry, art, music, and literature.” (p.176) The author is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and the director of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Charles Husband and Yunis Alam, Social Cohesion and Counter-Terrorism: A Policy Contradiction? Bristol, UK/Chicago, IL: The Policy Press/Distributed by The University of Chicago Press, 2011. 272 pp., US$ 36.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1847428011.

An empirically-based examination of the impact of the relationship between the policies that promote social cohesion and those that promote judicial and law enforcement counterterrorism measures in resolving the problem of violent extremism in the United Kingdom. The authors point out, for example, that the imposition of counterterrorism measures often serve to erode fundamental civil rights within Muslim communities, thereby undermining policies that attempt to promote social cohesion in such communities. To examine their thesis, the authors discuss the basis for their conceptual framework, the nature of the governmental policies that promote social cohesion at the community level, the components of British counterterrorism policies in the aftermath of the London bombings in July 2005, the prevalence of what they term “anti-Muslimism” in British society, and the implications of their data on the implementation of the British governments’ community cohesion and counterterrorism measures. Charles Husband is a fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Professor of Social Analysis at the University of Bradford, UK, and Yunis Alam is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Bradford.

Jeffrey Kaplan, Helene Lööw, and Leena Malkki, eds. “Special Issue on Lone Wolf and Autonomous Cell Terrorism,” Terrorism and Political Violence, January – March 2014, Vol. 26, No. 1, 258 pp. [Paperback]. ISSN: 0954-6553.

The contributors to this special volume of the quarterly journal had initially presented their papers at the conference “Lone Wolf and Autonomous Cell Terrorism” that was held at Uppsala University, Sweden, under the auspices of the university’s Center for Police Research, on September 24-26, 2012. Following an introductory overview by the special issue’s editors, the contributors discuss issues such as counterinsurgency, law enforcement tactics, lone wolf terrorism, profiling lone wolf terrorists, governmental responses to lone wolf terrorists prior to the First World War, case studies of lone wolves such as Carlos Bledsoe, Anders Breivik, loners and autonomous cells in the Netherlands, school shootings as examples of lone wolf violence, lone wolf terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and detecting “linguistic markers” for signs of extremist violence in social media. Although one might argue that some of the lone wolves discussed in the volume may have actually been part of larger “packs of wolves” and were radicalised in social media by more “conventional” terrorist groups, this volume represents an important contribution to advancing our understanding of this important phenomenon. 

James D. Ramsay and Linda Kiltz, eds. Critical Issues in Homeland Security: A Casebook. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2014. 384 pp., US$ 30.00 [Paperback]. ISBN-13: 978-0813348278.

A valuable handbook for courses on homeland security which examines in an interdisciplinary manner how to address significant issues in homeland security through the examination of all- hazard type case studies of major state and national events. Each chapter begins with an overview and two cases that illustrate those topics. The chapters cover issues such as law and policy (e.g., the use of drones in counterterrorism), terrorist incidents (e.g., the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and eco-terrorism), environmental security (e.g., arctic security and the impact of hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast’s security), the role of intelligence (e.g. how terrorists used intelligence in conducting their attack on Mumbai, India, in November 2008), critical infrastructure protection (e.g. the impact of cyber threats against critical infrastructure), transportation security (e.g., the impact of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack on transportation), and emergency management (e.g., lessons learned from the 2010 Haiti earthquake). James D. Ramsay is the chair of the department of Security Studies and International Affairs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Linda Kiltz is director of a master’s program in public administration and policy at Walden University.

Linda Robinson, One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare. New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2013. 344 pp, US$ 28.99, [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-1610391498.

A highly interesting and authoritative account by a veteran American military journalist of the operations of the various elite units that make up the United States special operations forces in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. The author is currently a senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Andrew Silke, ed., Prisons, Terrorism and Extremism: Critical Issues in Management, Radicalisation and Reform. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 312 pp., US $ 150.00 [Hardcover], US$ 45.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0415810371.

The contributors to this conceptually innovative volume apply a multidisciplinary approach to analyse all the dimensions involved in prison radicalisation and effective countermeasures. The book, which is divided into five parts, covers theoretical topics such as an overview of the processes of prison-based radicalisation, de-radicalisation and disengagement from violent extremism, issues in prison management, risk assessment and reform, as well as case studies from the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, German Federal Republic in the 1970s, and Spain. This reviewer, for full disclosure, contributed a chapter on a model of prison radicalisation, including (in the worst case) post-release re-incarceration.  The volume’s editor is Head of Criminology and Director of Terrorism Studies at the University of East London.

Hurst/Oxford University Press

Mikel Buesa and Thomas Baumert, eds. The Economic Repercussions of Terrorism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. 216 pp., US$ 110.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-0199577705.

The contributors to this conceptually innovative volume assess the economic impact of terrorism in all its manifestations, focusing on the bombings of the Madrid trains in March 2004 as their primary case study. The volume’s chapters discuss issues such as how terrorists fund their operations, theoretical approaches to analysing the economic impact of governmental responses to terrorism, the direct and sectoral impacts of the attacks on Madrid including the country’s stock market, and the effect of the terrorist attacks on the outcome of the 2004 Spanish election. Mikel Buesa is Professor of Applied Economics at the Computense University of Madrid and Thomas Baumert is Professor of Applied Economics at the Catholic University of Valencia.

Anicee Van Engeland, Civilian or Combatant? A Challenge for the 21st Century. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011. 192 pp., US$85.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-0199743247.

An authoritative, comprehensive and important examination of the challenges involved in applying and enforcing international humanitarian law in prosecuting those suspected to be engaging in activities that target civilian populations such as genocide, asymmetrical warfare, and terrorism. As the author points out, effective prosecution requires making the important distinction between the deliberate targeting of combatants and civilians. This is explained in chapters covering topics such as the principle of distinction in identifying civilians and combatants; the protection afforded to civilians, the rights of combatants; the shift in such categories, with civilians, under certain circumstances, falling under the concept of direct participation in hostilities; blurring the concept of combatant, and the impact of trends in warfare, especially the use of weapons of mass destruction, in the evolution of such conflicts in categorising civilians and combatants. The author concludes that “The role of international humanitarian law is to regulate the conduct of conflict and to protect civilians and individuals hors de combat,” which is why it should be distinguished from laws governing armed conflict. (p. 162). The author, an international human rights jurist, is a lecturer in law at the University of Exeter, UK.

George Kassimeris, Inside Greek Terrorism. London, UK: Hurst & Company, Ltd./New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013. 256 pp., US$ 29.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 9780199333394.

An important account of the origins and evolution of terrorism in Greece, which was expected to have terminated in summer 2002 with the downfall of the 17 November group (17N). However, due to a number of factors that are explained by the author, other types of anarchistic urban terrorist groups have emerged since then, accompanied by an upsurge and intensification of violence. Following an introductory chapter that provides  historical context to political violence in Greece, the author discusses the nature of 17N in terms of its leadership, organisation, activities, and eventual downfall. This is followed by a discussion of the new terrorist groups that have emerged since then, such as the Revolutionary Struggle (RS) and The Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF). The author concludes that the threat of terrorism is likely to worsen because “The fault lines in Greek society are deepening,” especially due to the increasing popularity of the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party, with “its supporters [staging] pogroms against immigrants and [doing] battle with leftist youths and anarchists” (p.121). Such worsening polarisation and division in society are likely to put Greek democracy “at unnecessary risk,” the author concludes. (p. 121). The author, a long-standing analyst of Greek terrorism, is Reader in Terrorism Studies at Wolverhampton University, UK.

Samuel Justin Sinclair and Daniel Antonius, The Psychology of Terrorism Fears. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. 192 pp., US$ 39.99 [Paperback], ISBN: 9780195388114.

An important empirical and theoretical examination of the psychological impact of terrorism in spreading fear and anxiety throughout its targeted society. The authors analyze how terrorism affects its targeted population on various levels, whether individual or societal. The authors also point out that while the fear induced by terrorism negatively impacts people and societies, such fears can also be reshaped to build resilience and post-traumatic growth following such incidents. Also discussed are topics such as how to communicate threat warnings prior to expected terrorist attacks (which may also be thwarted) in order to build resilience among the targeted populations. Mr. Sinclar is Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Mr. Antonius is Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York.

Polity Press

Steve Bruce, Fundamentalism. [2nd edition] Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2008. 160 pp., US$ 69.95 [Hardcover], US$24.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0745640761.

Part of the publisher’s “Key Concepts” series that provides concise overviews of significant topics by leading academic experts, this is an updated edition of the author’s previously published 2000 book. Fundamentalism, the author explains, especially as it applies to violent movements, aims “to reshape the world at large” through violence (p.7) because of its opposition to secularising and egalitarian (especially in male-female relations) forces of modernity at the communal and individual levels. ‘Fundamentalists’ are those who “claim that some source of ideas, usually a text [such as a religion’s holy book], is complete and without error” (p.12) . They seek to return to “the existence of some perfect social embodiment of the true religion in the past” (p.13). This general framework is then applied to discuss Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism in the United States. The author’s conclusion is worth noting: “Why some people respond by becoming fundamentalists while others do not is a matter for the particulars of each circumstance. There is simply no need and no warrant for constructing fundamentalism as a gross psychological abnormality that deserves an explanation based on the idea of abnormality” (p.122). The author is Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, UK.  

Roland Dannreuther, International Security: The Contemporary Agenda. [2nd edition] Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013. 340 pp., US$ 84.95 [Hardcover], US$ 28.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-7456-5377-8.

This well-written textbook provides a comprehensive examination of key security threats, challenges and developments affecting global security. The book is divided into four parts, with each of the eleven chapters concluding with a section on further reading, questions for research and discussion, and useful reference resources, including websites. The first part, “Analytical Framework,” discusses how to theorize about security in the post-Cold War era. The second part, titled “The ‘New Wars’ and Intervention,” covers topics such as the nature of contemporary wars and conflicts (including terrorism), dilemmas and challenges of intervention, and the nature of collective security, alliances and security cooperation. The third part, “Environment, Resources and Migration,” examines the nature of environmental security, the competition over scarce resources such as oil and water, and the migration of populations and refugees as a security issue. The fourth part, “Asymmetric Power and Asymmetric Threats,” discusses significant threats facing the international community in the form of international terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the new threats of cyber-warfare. The concluding chapter presents the author’s summation of significant issues raised by the preceding chapters. The author is head of the department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, UK.  

Brad Evans, Liberal Terror. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013. 224 pp., US$ 69.95 [Hardcover], $ 24.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0745665313.

A well-written, theoretical examination of whether the conventional (i.e., liberal) governmental approach to security towards the perceived threats represented by terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other unexpected catastrophes, is, in fact, making the world safer. The author criticises the way liberal governments and their security services respond to such perceived threats [as described in the book’s back cover] as “a new catastrophic topography of interconnected planetary endangerment,” which is accompanied by a “desire to securitise everything,” thereby rendering “all things potentially terrifying.” This leads, the author argues, to a liberal paradox in which “The more we seek to secure, the more our imaginaries of threat proliferate. Nothing can therefore be left to chance. For everything has the potential to be truly catastrophic. Such is the emerging state of terror normality we find ourselves in today.” While such a polemic against the liberal approach to countering the spectrum of disasters, ranging from man-made (i.e., terrorism) to natural, is not entirely faulty, the study would have benefited from an equally critical treatment of the terrorist adversaries, especially since those who are religiously fundamentalist-based, represent the very anti-democratic, anti-pluralist, and anti-egalitarian tendencies that surely must offend the author’s sense of righteousness. The author is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Bristol, UK.

Robert E. Goodin, What’s Wrong With Terrorism? Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2006. 256 pp., US$ 59.95 [Hardcover], US$ 24.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0745634982.

A provocative discussion of what the author considers as “the distinctive wrong of terrorism” in the form of what he terms the “morally disvalue” acts of killing, maiming and kidnapping civilians and destroying property not belonging to them (p.1). At the same time, he argues, since terrorism is “first and foremost a political tactic: frightening people for political advantage,” (p. 1), it should be judged with greater nuance because of its political component. Moreover, in the author’s analysis, states can be considered as terrorists; profiling potential terrorist suspects can, like ‘terrorism,’ also instill fear in a targeted population; and government warnings about potential terrorist attacks can (since they are generally ‘exaggerated’) be ‘misheard’ and misunderstood, thereby spreading the very types of fears they are originally intended to redress. Although the book is well written, its short sections make it appear more as a diatribe than a well-researched academic study. The author is Distinguished Professor of Social and Political Theory at the Australian National University.

Andrew Mumford, Proxy Warfare. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013. 180 pp., US$ 59.95 [Hardcover], US$ 19.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-7456-5119-4.

A highly interesting conceptual and descriptive account of the origins and evolution of the strategic appeal to states of using proxy insurgents to battle their adversaries as a form of ‘warfare on the cheap.’ The book’s chapters discuss the rise, nature and appeal of proxy wars, the major players engaged in such state-sponsored warfare, how such warfare is fought, and the future of such warfare. The author is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Igor Primoratz, Terrorism: A Philosophical Investigation. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013. 224 pp., US$ 69.95 [Hardcover], US$ 24.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0745651446.

An interesting and authoritative philosophical examination of how to define terrorism in all its manifestations, and whether it can be considered morally justified. To accomplish these objectives, the book’s chapters discuss how to define terrorism, state terrorism, and counterterrorism; whether terrorists are justified in targeted civilian populations as ‘complicit’ to their perceived injustices; the consequences of terrorism, and whether terrorism is morally distinctive since it involves the deliberate targeting of civilians (as opposed to the armed military). The author’s conceptual framework is applied to the case studies of the British air force’s bombing of German cities during the Second World War and Palestinian terrorism against Israel. The author is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Professorial Fellow at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia.

Eric Y. Shibuya, Demobilizing Irregular Forces. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012. 208 pp., US$ 59.95 [Hardcover], US$ 19.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0745648866.

A highly interesting account of the important role of the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of combatants into their societies in the aftermath of conflicts, because in the absence of such a process, the affected combatants will likely hold on to their weapons and resume their warfare. The author points out that an effective DDR process is not based on a 'one size fits all' approach because a conflict’s unique social and psychological contexts need to be taken into account in promoting the trust by all contending sides that is essential for DDR to succeed in the long term. The author is Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at US Marine Corps Command and Staff College, in Quantico, Virginia.

Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books/Scarecrow Press/University Press of America

Anna Bennett, The Power Paradox: A Toolkit for Analyzing Conflict and Extremism. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2012. 168 pp., US$ 60.00 [Hardcover], US$ 29.99 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0761857976.

An interesting thesis about the influence of what the author terms as a society’s “power dynamics” in shaping the way conflict and extremism are analyzed. In the book’s first part, the author bases her conceptual framework on Michel Foucault writings on power and discourse, where she finds that mainstream views of power relations, especially where power is used repressively, tend to restrict the conceptual insights needed to resolve conflict, whereas in situations where power is used progressively, there is greater understanding of how such conflicts can be resolved. In the book’s second part, this conceptual framework is applied to examining the case studies of American far right militias, the Branch Davidian standoff against the FBI in Waco, Texas, Pauline Hanson’s far-right and anti-government party in Australia, Theodore Kaczynski (“the Unabomber), and the United States-led “war on terrorism.” The author is a teacher of foundational sociology at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Christopher L. Daniels, Somali Piracy and Terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2012. 254 pp., US$ 65.00 [Hardcover], US$ 30.00 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0810886940.

A well-informed and authoritative account of the origins and magnitude of the threat of Somali piracy and terrorism plaguing the waters of the Horn of Africa. The author explains how the collapse of the Somali state and the ensuing chaos and anarchy created the environment for piracy and terrorism to proliferate and become major threats – embodied in the rise of terrorist groups such as al Shabaab and sharp spike in pirate attacks off the Somali coast. The author concludes with a critique of the measures employed to mitigate such security threats and offers a series of recommendations, such as establishing an all-inclusive reconciliation process, increased funding for peacekeeping operations, port security, eliminating ransom payments, challenging the religious legitimacy of terrorist organisations, monitoring and countering the internet propaganda by terrorist organisations, and developing other long-term strategies. The appendices include a timeline of major events in Somalia, a listing of the country’s clans, key people and institutions, and definitions of terms and acronyms. The author is professor political science at Florida A&M University.  

John Davis, ed., Terrorism in Africa: The Evolving Front in the War on Terror. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010. 324 pp., US$ 100.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-0739135754.

The contributors to this important edited volume discuss the expanding threat of terrorism in Africa in terms of the affected states, terrorist groups and critical issues that shape the context for understanding these dynamics. As explained by the volume’s editor, the book is divided into three themes: (1) the diversity of the terrorist threat among states in the region (e.g. terrorism in Somalia, West Africa, and North Africa), (2) the nature of the dynamics of terrorism (e.g. terrorism and Islam, terrorist safe havens), and (3) regional solutions to the threat of terrorism in Africa (e.g.  evaluating the effectiveness of counterterrorism in Africa, the roles of good governance and developmental assistance, and assessing the progress of regional organizations such as the African Union in countering terrorism). This volume is one of the very few studies that examine the threat of terrorism in Africa and counterterrorism measures in response in all their dimensions, making it indispensable for those studying these issues. The editor is professor of political science and international relations at Howard University. 

Jack A. Jarmon, The New Era in U.S. National Security: An Introduction to Emerging Threats and Challenges. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 312 pp., US$ 85.00 [Hardcover], US$ 35.00 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1442224117.

This textbook comprehensively and authoritatively covers the significant threats challenging United States national security and the governmental mechanisms established to respond to such evolving threats. Following a discussion of the national security apparatus and its policies, much of the volume discusses the nature of the threats against specific sectors, such as the maritime supply chain; the nature of cyber threats against critical infrastructure; the distinction and similarities between terrorism and crime; the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction; and the response measures required to counter such threats, including through public-private partnerships. The author is a veteran academic expert on national security issues and has taught at several universities.   

Christine Sixta Rinehart, Volatile Social Movements and the Origins of Terrorism. Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2013. 166 pp., US$ 80.00 [Hardcover], US$ 39.99 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-0739177709.

An interesting and important account of the role of certain types of social movements in originating and causing terrorism. The author points out that while many terrorist organizations had begun as social movements seeking to achieve their objectives through nonviolent tactics, over time terrorist tactics became their “method of choice.” To explain how such transitions from non-violence to violence occurred, the author examines the individual characteristics, group dynamics, and external forces in how such phenomena occurred in the case studies of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Basque ETA in Spain, the FARC in Colombia, and the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The author finds that terrorist groups emerge from social movements under certain conditions that include the presence of frustration “that led to aggression” and leadership by a charismatic leader that possesses a “violent personality” (pp.141-142). Also of interest is the author’s recommendation for future research, particularly the call for scholars to “study why terrorist organizations disaffiliate or die.” (p.143) The author is assistant adjunct professor of political science and women’s and gender studies at the University of South Carolina.

Pete Simi and Robert Futrell. American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010. 184 pp., US$49.95 [Hardcover], US$ 19.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1442202092.

An important account of the neo-Nazi White Supremacist movement in the United States. Drawing on extensive field work, including numerous interviews, the authors explain the movement’s various groupings, their “infrastructure of hate,” their extremist ideologies and agendas, how they radicalise, recruit and indoctrinate their members (including through private homes, “hate” parties, rituals, music festivals and online), and response measures to effectively counter and marginalise the influence and activities of these militant groups. The appendix includes a valuable guide for academic researchers to make contact and develop rapport with such militants (while avoiding the ethical dilemma of building “too much” rapport with them) in order to understand their mindsets and activities. Pete Simi is associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and Robert Futrell is associate professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska, Las Vegas.

James P. Terry, The War on Terror: The Legal Dimension. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2013. 192 pp., US$ 60.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-1442222427.

An authoritative, comprehensive and well-written examination of the legal dimension in countering terrorism by the United States government, focusing on the cases of responding to terrorist insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq. The author is a leading expert on these topics, having served as a former Marine Corps judge advocate and legal counsel to the U.S. Defense Department. The book’s chapters cover topics such as the legal dimension required in the operational context of counterterrorism, including the use of covert action; the international legal and political context for countering state-sponsored terrorism; the law of self-defense as applied to the terrorist threat; developing rules of engagement in countering terrorism; the application of Habeas Corpus in the detention of enemy combatants; torture and the interrogation of detainees; the dilemma of turning to federal courts or military commissions in trying suspected terrorists; international law and maritime terrorism and piracy; outsourcing military support operations in counterterrorism; the legal dimension in countering cyberterrorism, and the relationship between counterterrorism and media access to information. The concluding chapter presents the author’s views on future perspectives in countering the terrorist threat.

About the Reviewer: Dr. Joshua Sinai is the Book Reviews Editor of ‘Perspectives on Terrorism’. He can be reached at: [email protected].



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