1st Edition

From Freedom Fighters to Terrorists Women and Political Violence

By Paige Whaley Eager Copyright 2008

    Women have participated in political violence throughout history, yet the concept of women as active proponents and perpetrators of political violence and terrorism is not widely accepted. Viewed as being forced by partners, sexually abused or brainwashed, the possibility of political motives is not often considered. Paige Whaley Eager addresses this to establish whether the stereotypical view is misplaced. She utilizes a framework to analyze women engaged in political violence in different contexts in order to examine structural variables, ideological goals of the organization and personal factors which contribute to involvement. Case study rich, this informative book provides an indispensable guide to examining women's role in left/right wing engagement, ethno-nationalist/separatist violence, guerrilla movements and suicide bombers.

    Acknowledgments; Chapter 1 The Second Sex: Women and Political Violence; Chapter 2 Bringing on the Revolution: Women and Left-Wing Political Violence; Chapter 3 Dupes of Men or Willing Participants? Right-Wing Women and Political Violence; Chapter 4 The “Wretched of the Earth” Rebel: Women and Wars of National Liberation; Chapter 5 Tigers, Eterras, and Republicans: Women and Ethnonational Political Violence; Chapter 6 Female Suicide Bombers: Analyzing the Aberrant Woman’s Paradox; Chapter 7 Concluding Thoughts on Women and Political Violence;


    Paige Whaley Eager is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hood College, Frederick, Maryland, USA.

    '...provides a provocative examination of the lives and mindsets of women who conventional histories of terrorism have overlooked. It single-handedly dispels any myths that women have been less involved in planning, plotting and perpetrating violence throughout history. A massive contribution to the terrorism studies literature.' Jarret Brachman, United States Military Academy, USA 'Academicians, government officials and policy makers will find From Freedom Fighters to Terrorists an extensive and enlightening analysis. Grounded in theory and framed within history, Eager meets the challenge society continues to grapple with: women’s role in violence. Eager demonstrates that within social movements and organizations, women have consciously and frequently challenged successfully their assumed roles in society at large.' Rosemarie Skaine, author of Women at War: Gender Issues of Americans in Combat, The Women of Afghanistan Under the Taliban and Female Suicide Bombers 'Eager (Hood College) casts a wide net in this broadly comparative analysis of left- and right-wing women who engage in political violence...This specialized book may be among the first to integrate all types of women "freedom fighters and terrorists", from Right to Left and north to south...Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research and professional collections.' Choice 'It is a major contribution to the terrorism studies readily available to military readers. The author has cited extensively from a wide range of works on the subject, thereby showing the depth of her research. The book is recomended for all formation and unit libraries.' USI Journal 'Employing sound reasoning and a clear methodology, Eager presents a broad range of well-researched case studies...the book is an insightful read that illustrates well the extent and nature of the roles women play in guerrilla, resistance and terrorist groups. It challenges views still widely held by policymakers, who underestimate