Terrorists engage in propaganda and rhetoric, even though they prefer the power of deed over word. They use a wide variety of mechanisms of moral disengagement to convince themselves of the rightness of their actions, a necessary prerequisite for taking up arms. The articles collected together in this excellent volume focus on the rhetoric and propaganda used by insurgent terrorists to justify their resort to violence. The volume includes a thoughtful introduction which summarizes the main findings of the literature, drawing attention to the many different kinds of terrorist propaganda and the underlying similarity between them.
Contents: Series preface; Introduction. Part I In the beginning: Understanding the next act, Nathan Leites. Part II In the Name of the Cause: Terrorism and propaganda: problem and response, Maurice Tugwell; When terrorists do the talking: reflections on terrorist literature, Bonnie Cordes (1987); Mechanisms of moral disengagement, Albert Bandura; How violence is justified: Sinn Fein's An Phoblacht, Robert G. Picard; The rhetoric of terrorism, Richard W. Leeman. Part III In the Mirror of the Past: Cultural narrative and the motivation of the terrorist, Kachig Tololyan; Striking with hunger: cultural meanings of political violence in Northern Ireland, Begona Aretxaga; Martyrdom and witnessing: violence, terror and recollection in Cyprus, Paul Sant Cassia; Narratives of violence, Gerald Cromer. Part IV In the Name of God: The logic of religious violence, Mark Jurgensmeyer; Messianic sanctions for terror, David C. Rapoport; Violence and catastrophe in the theology of Rabbi Meir Kahane: the ideologization of mimetic desire, Ehud Sprinzak; Absolute rescue: absolutism, defensive action and the resort to force, Jeffrey Kaplan; A manual of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, Raphael Israeli; Killing in the name of Islam: al Qaeda's justification for September 11, Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner. Part V In Comparison: The role of ideology in terrorists' target selection, C.J.M. Drake; Theories of justification and political violence: examples from 4 groups, Garrett O'Boyle; Borroka - the legitimation of street violence in the political discourse of radical Basque nationalists, Hanspeter van den Broek (2004); Index.