1st Edition

Terrorism, Democracy, and Human Security A Communication Model

By Ronald Crelinsten Copyright 2021
    352 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    352 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the relationship between terrorism and counterterrorism and how it operates within the broader context of communication, control, power, and democratic governance at the national, international, and transnational level.

    A culmination of decades of research on the challenges that liberal democracies face in dealing with terrorism, this work provides an innovative framework that maps out the broader context in which terrorism and counterterrorism interact and co-evolve – the terrorism–counterterrorism nexus. In a series of models moving from local to global perspectives, the framework places this nexus within the broader context of social, cultural, political, and economic life. This framework provides a tool for maintaining situational awareness in a multi-tiered, networked world where geography and history are splintering into a rainbow of perspectives and locales, revealing the contested nature of space and time themselves.

    This book will be of much interest to students of political violence, terrorism studies, communication studies, and international relations, as well as security professionals.


    Part I: A Conceptual Framework for Studying Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Communication between Controller and Controlled

    1. The Terrorism-Counterterrorism Nexus

    2. Placing the Terrorism-Counterterrorism Nexus in Context

    Part II: Mapping Blurry Boundaries: Grey Zones and Democratic Governance

    3. Territory, Environment, Resources, Population: Zone A

    4. Markets, Profits, Welfare, Civics: Zone B

    5. Society, Administration, Protest, Policy: Zone C

    6. Policing, Intelligence, Extremism, Violence: Zone D

    7. Crime, Terrorism, Revolution, War: Zone E

    8. Sovereignty, Independence, Nationalism, Globalism: Zone F

    9. When Controlled Becomes Controller: The Question of Regime Type

    Part III: Mapping Complexity Beyond the State: Grey Zones and Global Governance

    10. State Actors in the International System: International, Bilateral, Multilateral, and Transgovernmental Relations

    11. Non-State Actors from Different States: Multinational (corporate), Transnational, and Global Civil Societal Relations

    12. Transnational Relations between State Actors and Non-State Actors from Different States

    Conclusion: A Unified Field Theory of Terrorism, Democracy and Human Security across Geography, History, Space and Time


    Ronald Crelinsten is an Associate Fellow at the University of Victoria, Canada, and was Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa for over 20 years.

    'An expansive and thought-provoking deep dive into the essential significance of terrorism and counterterrorism as messengers for larger social, geo-political and global issues. Crelinsten bores through surface assertions about politically and socially motivated cycles of violence and argues convincingly in favor of good governance, global awareness, and multi-faceted approaches to human security. The book maps out a vision for the future in which a fuller understanding of the complex nature of violence and responses to it can build a more stable, resourceful, and secure future.'--Karen J. Greenberg, Fordham University, USA

    'This is a timely and powerful book – a must read. Crelinsten provides an innovative and nuanced approach to understanding and responding to terrorism and counter-terrorism in an increasingly complex and globalized world. The book’s breadth, scope, and compelling arguments will provoke both thought and emotion, encouraging new and effective ways to respond to an enduring issue. This impressive book is at the vanguard of scholarship on terrorism and counter-terrorism.'-- Myriam Denov, McGill University, Canada

    'Ron Crelinsten is a master at explaining the context of terrorism and social control. He artfully shows that how we talk and communicate about terrorism reflects dominant assumptions about social order and political influence. This book works!'--David Altheide, Arizona State University, USA

    'Once more Ronald Crelinsten clearly lays out that terrorism needs to be understood in a multispectral manner. With this new book, he enables the reader to better understand the interdependence between terrorism and economic, social, cultural and political life, specifically within a communication context. The framework developed over the course of the book gives an excellent example of how to avoid thinking about terrorism only in selective ways. Based on nearly half a century of research in the field and as one of the foremost scholars in it, Ronald Crelinsten furthermore underlines his model with a number of historic examples, which others might have already forgotten in today's fast world. A very recommended read - not only for those "combatting" terrorism - to widen the scope and be able to address other important factors which influence the use of violence in social and political life.'--LTC Alex Brand, (former) NATO Centre of Excellence, Defence Against Terrorism Concept & Policy Branch Head

    'If you are interested in understanding the dilemmas of liberal democracies in the face of terrorism, this book will offer you the most comprehensive account. For over four decades, Professor Ronald Crelinsten has led the academic research on counter-terrorism. "Terrorism, Democracy and Human Security: A Communication Model" is a tour de force that brings together Professor Crelinsten's entire body of work and offers new insights into one of the most complex and persistent issues on the global agenda. This brilliant book is a must-read.'--Ami Pedahzur, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

    'Terrorism, Democracy and Human Security provides a ground-breaking new framework for understanding terrorism's relationship to counterterrorism across a range of policy areas, nationally and internationally. Combining conceptual sophistication with an encyclopaedic knowledge of contemporary and historical examples, the book catapults its readers into the complex, fascinating world of political violence with all of its blurry lines and grey zones. Drawing on decades of research expertise, Ronald Crelinsten again shows why he is widely recognised as one of the world's leading experts on terrorism and counterterrorism. The book will be essential reading for years to come.'--Lee Jarvis, University of East Anglia, UK

    'Terrorism, Democracy and Human Security is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between terrorism and counterterrorism. Crelinsten takes the reader on a journey exploring the function of this relationship at various levels and in a range of policy domains. Countless historical examples are included drawing upon the author’s lengthy pedigree in the field and complemented by more contemporary events. This book will appeal to students and non-students alike given its engaging style and subject matter.'-- Rachel Monaghan, Coventry University, UK

    'Crelinsten addresses the impact of globalization, polarization, commodification, digitalization, securitization, militarization, and more on terrorism and counter-terrorism in an effort to portray the complexities of the modern world. .... For many readers, this volume—which truly sketches "the big picture"—will be an eyeopener. For those in the field of (counter-)terrorism studies, it offers an original new template for further explorations. While a "unified field theory" of terrorism and counterterrorism remains elusive, Crelinsten’s innovative book nevertheless points in the right direction.''-Alex Schmid, Perspectives on Terrorism, June 2021

    'Drawing on decades of existing research, Crelinsten’s book forges an understanding of violence as a means of communication in human affairs, politics, international relations, and social/cultural spaces.... The complexity of [Crelinsten's] framework is simplified through the wealth of knowledge that [he] brings to the analysis, allowing the reader to engage fully with [his] ''unified field theory of terrorism and counterterrorism''.’--Gabrielle Nugent-Stephens,Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, March 2022