The Faces of Terrorism: Social and Psychological Dimensions

Princeton University Press
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Terrorism is the most clear and present danger we confront today, yet no phenomenon is more poorly understood by policymakers, the media, and the general public. The Faces of Terrorism is the first serious interdisciplinary examination of terrorism in all its facets. What gives rise to it, who are its proponents and how do they think, and how--and why--does it work?

Neil Smelser begins by tackling the fundamental problem of defining what exactly terrorism is. He shows why a precise definition has eluded us until now, and he proposes one that takes into account the full complexities of this unconventional and politically charged brand of violence. He explores the root causes and conditions of terrorism, and examines the ideologies that inspire and fuel it throughout the world. Smelser looks closely at the terrorists themselves--their recruitment, their motivations, the groups they form, their intended audiences, and their uses of the media in pursuing their agendas. He studies the target societies as well, unraveling the complicated social and psychological impacts of having to cope with the ever-present threat of a terrorist strike--and responding when one occurs. He explains what it means to live under constant threat of terrorism, and addresses the thorny domestic and foreign policy challenges this poses. Throughout, Smelser draws from the latest findings in sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, psychology, psychiatry, and history.



The Faces of Terrorism provides the breadth of scope necessary to understand--and ultimately eliminate--this most pressing global threat.

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About the author

Neil J. Smelser is university professor of sociology emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include Social Change in the Industrial Revolution, Problematics of Sociology, and Social Paralysis and Social Change.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 9, 2009
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781400827886
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Military / General
Political Science / Terrorism
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Now the inspiration for the CBS Television drama, "The Unit."

Delta Force. They are the U.S. Army's most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won't hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action-to reveal the never-before-told story of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).

Inside Delta Forece
The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit

He is a master of espionage, trained to take on hijackers, terrorists, hostage takers, and enemy armies. He can deploy by parachute or arrive by commercial aircraft. Survive alone in hostile cities. Speak foreign languages fluently. Strike at enemy targets with stunning swiftness and extraordinary teamwork. He is the ultimate modern warrior: the Delta Force Operator.

In this dramatic behind-the-scenes chronicle, Eric Haney, one of the founding members of Delta Force, takes us inside this legendary counterterrorist unit. Here, for the first time, are details of the grueling selection process—designed to break the strongest of men—that singles out the best of the best: the Delta Force Operator.

With heart-stopping immediacy, Haney tells what it's really like to enter a hostage-held airplane. And from his days in Beirut, Haney tells an unforgettable tale of bodyguards and bombs, of a day-to-day life of madness and beauty, and of how he and a teammate are called on to kill two gunmen targeting U.S. Marines at the Beirut airport. As part of the team sent to rescue American hostages in Tehran, Haney offers a first-person description of that failed mission that is a chilling, compelling account of a bold maneuver undone by chance—and a few fatal mistakes.

From fighting guerrilla warfare in Honduras to rescuing missionaries in Sudan and leading the way onto the island of Grenada, Eric Haney captures the daring and discipline that distinguish the men of Delta Force. Inside Delta Force brings honor to these singular men while it puts us in the middle of action that is sudden, frightening, and nonstop around the world.


From the Hardcover edition.
The foundation of this volume is the notion that the several processes of change constituting economic and social development are systematically interrelated. The essence of development is the appearance of rapid rates of increases in many different indices--output per capita, political participation, literacy and the like. These quantitative changes are, however, commonly accompanied by vast changes in the social structure--markets emerge, political bureaucracies arise, and new educational systems appear.

Written by the leading authorities on the subject, this group of papers tackles the causes and consequences of social mobility. Each author brings his particular skills to bear on various aspects of the problem in studies of persons moving from rural to urban settings, from one kind of industry to another and from one prestige level to another. Several of the papers review the theoretical and methodological issues involved in comparative research on social mobility while others compare and contrast traditional and modern stratification systems.

Various papers explore the economic, religious and psychological basis of social mobility, concluding with enquiry into the consequences of rapid mobility, especially in terms of the political stability of developing nations. Because social mobility is a central consideration in any study of economic and social change, every student of change will use this pioneering reference source as a text for all future research. Contributors include Otis Dudley Duncan, Harold L. Wilensky, Michael G. Smith, Bert F. Hoselitz, Wilbert E. Moore, Natalie Rogoff Ramsy, Gideon Sjoberg, Reinhard Bendix, Harry Crockett, David Matza, Lester Seligman, and Gino Germani.

Neil J. Smelser is emeritus professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Seymour Martin Lipset was professor of sociology and director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Neil Smelser's Social Paralysis and Social Change is one of the most comprehensive histories of mass education ever written. It tells the story of how working-class education in nineteenth-century Britain—often paralyzed by class, religious, and economic conflict—struggled forward toward change.

This book is ambitious in scope. It is both a detailed history of educational development and a theoretical study of social change, at once a case study of Britain and a comparative study of variations within Britain. Smelser simultaneously meets the scholarly standards of historians and critically addresses accepted theories of educational change—"progress," conflict, and functional theories. He also sheds new light on the process of secularization, the relations between industrialization and education, structural differentiation, and the role of the state in social change.

This work marks a return for the author to the same historical arena—Victorian Britain—that inspired his classic work Social Change in the Industrial Revolution thirty-five years ago. Smelser's research has again been exhaustive. He has achieved a remarkable synthesis of the huge body of available materials, both primary and secondary.

Smelser's latest book will be most controversial in its treatment of class as a primordial social grouping, beyond its economic significance. Indeed, his demonstration that class, ethnic, and religious groupings were decisive in determining the course of British working-class education has broad-ranging implications. These groupings remain at the heart of educational conflict, debate, and change in most societies—including our own—and prompt us to pose again and again the chronic question: who controls the educational terrain?
This new edition introduces the social science audiences of a new century to one of the classic highlights of the mid-twentieth century. This is the most general statement of the general theory of action as it was developed by its principle exponent, Talcott Parsons, and his close collaborators who formed the core of the fabled department of social relations at Harvard University. Toward a General Theory of Action is an extremely ambitious formulation of the ingredients, dimensions, and ranges that determine human behavior.

Parsons and Shils enunciate principles that are at the core of contemporary social science preoccupations-including the precarious balance between social integration and conflict. The volume is at once universal in intent and highly personal, an expression of Parsons' thought, one of the most notable sociological theorists of the century. Finally, the book symbolizes the interdisciplinary impulse that typified a widespread belief in the unity of the sciences. This edition includes the collaborative group's introductory statement, Richard Sheldon's essay on the theoretical and philosophical status of the general theory of action, and "Values, Motives and Systems of Action" by Parsons and Shils.

Guy Swanson, writing in the The American Sociological Review, noted that "Parsons and Shils have performed a major service in clearing away many old controversies, in showing the reasonableness of a behavioral foundation for general theory in social science as a whole and in sociology in particular, in clarifying the interrelations among many concepts, and in the insightful interpretation of particular pieces of data." It is testimony to this book's continuing significance that it continues to generate new lines of research and writings.

Talcott Parsons and Edward A. Shils are now deceased. Parsons had a lifelong association with Harvard University, and Shils had an equally long distinguished service at Chicago University in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The special editor for the Transaction edition, Neil J. Smelser is director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford University. From 1958 through 1994 he served on the sociology faculty at the University of California at Berkeley. He is author of many books in the areas of social theory, social change, economic sociology, social movements and the sociology of education.
The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of economic sociology available. The first edition, copublished in 1994 by Princeton University Press and the Russell Sage Foundation as a synthesis of the burgeoning field of economic sociology, soon established itself as the definitive presentation of the field, and has been widely read, reviewed, and adopted. Since then, the field of economic sociology has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and to move into new theoretical and empirical territory.

The second edition, while being as all-embracing in its coverage as the first edition, represents a wholesale revamping. Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg have kept the main overall framework intact, but nearly two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors. As in the first edition, they bring together leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences. But the thirty chapters of this volume incorporate many substantial thematic changes and new lines of research--for example, more focus on international and global concerns, chapters on institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, organization and networks, and the economic sociology of the ancient world. The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures. It is a must read for all faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field.


A thoroughly revised and updated version of the most comprehensive treatment of economic sociology available
Almost two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors
Authors include leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences
Substantial thematic changes and new lines of research, including more focus on international and global concerns, institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, and organization and networks
The definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures
A must read for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field

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