Authored by: Alex P. Schmid

The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research

Print publication date:  February  2011
Online publication date:  February  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415411578
eBook ISBN: 9780203828731
Adobe ISBN: 9781136810404


 Download Chapter



Essentially, terrorism is nothing more than a method that may be adopted by a wide range of ideologies and for an equally wide range of objectives. It is not integrally linked to any ideology. It will be adopted as long as it is calculated to have significant potential for success. Such success, within the terrorist paradigm, may not be defined on the same criteria that are held by stable societies and state systems. Within the paradigm of a protracted war of terrorist attrition, apparent failures are conceived of as way stations to success… . Essential to the potential for the ‘success’ of terrorism is the legitimacy that terrorism has in the eyes not only of the terrorists themselves, but of a substantial public – including many in the victim societies who accept or propagate the ‘false sociologies’. The de-legitimisation of terrorism – at the level of the de-legitimisation of genocide – would, consequently, have to precede coherent international and national policy responses. For such a process of delegitimisation to occur, it is essential to take up each of the ‘false sociologies’ that have been advanced in support of terrorism and demonstrate that they derive from questionable or fallacious reasoning.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.