In his new text, Dekmejian places terrorism within a spectrum of political violence, creating a typology of terror based on scale and intent as well as by type of actor—from isolated attacks by individual bombers, to large scale attacks against state targets by organized networks, to state-sponsored genocide and politicide—thus facilitating comparisons across multiple cases. As well, the book’s model of conflict is informed by game theory, enriched with understandings of psychological, cultural, and historical contexts, helping students focus on the strategies and desired outcomes of different parties to conflict. This analytic approach enables students to trace the changes in mutual perceptions and preferences between terrorists and their targets and leads to a fuller understanding of the causes and dynamics of political violence.
The book’s uniquely comprehensive coverage of terrorism includes extended cases on the IRA, the Tamil Tigers, Chechen rebels, Al Qaeda, Aum Shinrikyo, Hizbullah, and Hamas. Each case looks at the historical origins, political factors, leadership, and organization of the group to give context. Discussions of typical tactics, patterns of violence, the role of external actors, and outcomes help readers to explore possible solutions that might stop the cycle of violence and promote peaceful coexistence among the antagonists.
Appendix materials include glossaries of terrorist groups and technical terms.
About the author
R. Hrair Dekmejian is a professor of political science and international business at the University of Southern California. His specialties include comparative political violence, Middle East/Islamic studies, political elites, multinational business and politics, U.S. foreign policy, the political economy of oil, and comparative ethnic politics. Professor Dekmejian has appeared as a commentator on world affairs on radio and television and is quoted in major newspapers and publications. A U.S. Army veteran, Dekmejian has served as a consultant to various agencies including the Department of State, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Department of Defense. He is the author of numerous books and articles including Islam in Revolution; Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region; and The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership.