7th Edition

Terrorism and Counterterrorism

By Brigitte L. Nacos Copyright 2023
    480 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    480 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    480 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Focusing on the continued terrorist threat by jihadist groups, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, and homegrown violent far-right and far-left extremists in the West, Terrorism and Counterterrorism investigates this form of political violence in a historical and contemporary context. In this comprehensive and highly readable text, renowned expert Brigitte Nacos clearly defines terrorism’s diverse causes, actors, and strategies; outlines anti- and counterterrorist responses; and highlights terrorism’s relationship with the public and media. Terrorism and Counterterrorism introduces students to the field’s main debates and helps them critically assess our understanding of, and our strategies for, addressing this complex and enduring issue.

    New to the Seventh Edition:

    • The new chapter 3 reviews the history of terrorism—both domestic and international, whereas the new chapter 4 analyses the terrorist landscape in the third decade of the 21st century—including the transnational links between violent far-right and far-left violent extremists.
    • The discussion of religious terrorism in chapter 5 ends with an added section about QAnon as religiopolitical cult.
    • An extended section in chapter 7 is devoted to the increasingly militant roles of females in violent far-right extremism.
    • The revised chapter 10 starts with the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops from Afghanistan and an account of total costs spent on the post-9/11 war against terrorism before discussing the counterterrorism strategies of presidents G.W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden.
    • The failures and successes of the U.S. intelligence community in efforts to prevent terrorism at home with relevant data and case studies are new features in chapter 12. 

      1. Introduction: Terrorist Threats at Home and Abroad

      3. The Perennial Debate: What is Terrorism?
      4. A Historical Review of Terrorism
      5. The Terrorism Landscape in the third Decade of the Twenty-First Century
      6. Political Violence in the Name of God
      7. The Making of Terrorists: Causes, Conditions, Influences
      8. Women, Children and Terrorism
      9. Common Threads: Goals, Targets, and Tactics
      10. Organizational Structures, State Sponsors, and the Financing of Terror

      12. Terrorism and American-Led Post-9/11 National Security Strategies
      13. The Utility of Hard and Soft Power in Counterterrorism
      14. Preventing Terrorism: The Crucial Role of Good Intelligence
      15.  Balancing Security, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights

      17. Terrorist Propaganda and the Mainstream Media
      18. Terror and Hate in Cyberspace
      19. Conclusion: Living with Terrorist Threats

     Appendix: Major Terrorist Incidents since the Late 1970s


    Brigitte L. Nacos, a political scientist and journalist, was a long-time U.S. correspondent for newspapers in Germany and has taught political science courses at Columbia University for close to three decades.

    Praise for Terrorism and Counterrorism

    The book is well written and informative. I find it is written so the new student or second year students can easily understand its contents and the vocabulary being used. New vocabulary is part of the teaching process.

    Dennis W. McLean, Keiser University

    The main strength is that the book is comprehensive and updated. The academic study of terrorism has been rapidly developing and new ideas and insights occur rapidly and constantly. I would argue that the pace of change in terrorism studies is generally greater than other subfields of political science. Moreover, the nature of the threat of terrorism evolves constantly and rapidly, which further complicates being able to develop a coherent and cohesive textbook. Nacos’ efforts in this regard are laudable—she does an excellent job of incorporating and summarizing new findings and new events.

    Jeffrey Bosworth, Mansfield University

    The students are generally very positive about the text. It is well written, well-paced and accessible, which is important for first year students. It is general enough to be used as a comprehensive introduction, but has enough depth to give the student’s some of the subtleties and complexities of the topic... The advantages are that the book is updated and timely and that it provides a very good focus on both hard and soft approaches, including communications theory and terrorist / counter terrorist messaging and the internet.

    Julian Droogany, Macquarie University, Australia