Terrorism, Identity and Legitimacy: The Four Waves theory and political violence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Terrorism, Identity and Legitimacy

The Four Waves theory and political violence, 1st Edition

Edited by Jean E. Rosenfeld


280 pages

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This book argues that terrorism in the modern world has occurred in four "waves" of forty years each. It offers evidence-based explanations of terrorism, national identity, and political legitimacy by leading scholars from various disciplines with contrasting perspectives on political violence.

Whether violence is local or global, it tends to be both patterned and innovative. It elicits chaos, but can be understood by the application of new models or theories, depending upon the methods and data experts employ. The contributors in this volume apply their experiences and studies of terrorists, mob violence, fashions in international and political violence, religion’s role in terrorism and violence, the relationship between technology and terror, a recurring paradigm of terrorist waves, nation-states struggling to establish democratic/elective governments, and factions competing for control within states - in order to make sense of both national and international acts of political violence and to ask and answer some of the most disturbing questions these phenomena present. 

This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism, religion and violence, nationalism, sociology, war and conflict studies and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Meaning of Political Violence Jean E. Rosenfeld Part 1: The Four Waves Theory and Global Terrorism 1. Looking for Waves of Terrorism Karen Rasler and William R. Thompson 2. Waves of International Terrorism: An Explanation of the Process by which Ideas Flood the World Dipak K. Gupta 3. Technological and Lone Operator Terrorism: Prospects for a Fifth Wave of Global Terrorism Jeffrey D. Simon 4. David Rapoport and the Study of Religiously-Motivated Terrorism Jeffrey Kaplan Part 2: Terrorism: A Closer View 5. Ripples in the Waves: Fantasies and Fashions Marc Sageman 6. The Fourth Terrorism Wave: Is There a Religious Exception? Michael Barkun 7. The Fourth Wave: Comparison of Jewish and Other Manifestations of Religious Terrorism Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger 8. Action, Reaction, and Overreaction: Assessing the Impact of Terrorism upon States John Mueller 9. Backlash: Reactions against Terrorism Studies Leonard Weinberg and William Eubank Part 3: Identity, Legitimacy, and Political Violence 10. Before the Bombs There Were the Mobs: American Experiences with Terror David C. Rapoport 11. The Politics of Collective Identity: Contested Israeli Nationalisms Myron J. Aronoff 12. South Africa’s Paradox of Violence and Legitimacy Barry M. Schutz 13. Legitimacy, Culture of Political Violence and Violence of Culture in Ethiopia Negussay Ayele 14. Contextual Issues in the Study of Domestic Violence: A Malawi Case Study Ralph A. Young 15. The Myth of Institutional Violence Ivan Strenski

About the Editor

Jean E. Rosenfeld is an Academic Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for the Study of Religion.

About the Series

Political Violence

This book series contains sober, thoughtful and authoritative academic accounts of terrorism and political violence. Its aim is to produce a useful taxonomy of terror and violence through comparative and historical analysis in both national and international spheres. Each book discusses origins, organisational dynamics and outcomes of particular forms and expressions of political violence.

Founding Editor: David Rapoport

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Law Enforcement
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism