1st Edition

The Test of Terrorism Responding to Political Violence in the Twenty-First Century

Edited By Alastair Finlan Copyright 2015

    This book offers a timely and critical reflection on how states have responded to the test of terrorism in the long shadow of 9/11. Terrorism has become the hallmark of international relations in the early twenty-first century. This book provides a policy-focused analysis of how certain states have responded to its test by employing a range of viewpoints that encompass state level responses down to a close interrogation of the nebulous non-state actors who have orchestrated spectacular political violence in contemporary times. It engages with the challenges of terrorism from a variety of perspectives that include philosophical discourses, the perils of counterterrorism encapsulated in the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, learning in counterinsurgency, the effectiveness of counterterrorism spending, Al Qaeda’s modus operandi and the threat posed by Boko Haram to Nigeria. This eclectic collection of chapters is an important contribution to the wide-ranging and contested debate about terrorism that has dominated the political discourse in the West since 2001.

    This book was published as a special issue of Defense and Security Analysis.

    1. Introduction Julian Palmore and Martin Edmonds

    2. Terrorism: a philosophical discourse Allan Orr

    3. The perils of special approaches to counterterrorism: the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005 Alastair Finlan

    4. Learning in counterinsurgency: what do we really know? James Hasik

    5. Does counterterrorism spending reduce the incidence and lethality of terrorism? A quantitative analysis of 34 countries Orlandrew E. Danzell and Steve Zidek

    6. Jihad or qatal? Examining Al Qaeda’s modus operandi Shireen K. Burki

    7. Boko Haram and the challenges of Nigeria’s war on terror Samuel Oyewole


    Alastair Finlan is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, UK, who conducts research on the Global War on Terror. His latest book is Contemporary Military Culture and Strategic Studies: US and UK Armed Forces in the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2013).