Terrorism Versus Democracy

The Liberal State Response, 2nd Edition

By Paul Wilkinson, Paul Wilkinson

© 2006 – Routledge

166 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415384773
pub: 2006-06-29
US Dollars$170.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

'No one understands terrorism better than Paul Wilkinson…if policy makers read this book they will understand the problems better. If terrorists read it they will understand themselves a lot better.' - Michael Clarke, King’s College London, University of London, UK

This acclaimed study examines both the new terror networks and those that have been around for decades. This new edition brings it up-to-date with the dramatic opening of the twenty-first century, with new chapters on the 9/11 attacks, the growth of international terrorism, the Al Qaeda network and the War on Terror.

This text provides us with some much needed criteria for distinguishing between terrorists and freedom fighters and an explanation of the uses of terrorism as a political, social, religious and criminal weapon. Wilkinson also links the use of terrorism to a wider repertoire of struggle. He proposes a variety of possible counter-measures and valuable principles carefully distilled from the recent past to help design a response that is compatible with democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

This book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of terrorism studies, political science and international relations, as well as for policy makers and journalists.


'Paul Wilkinson has been saying challenging things about terrorism and the liberal state for over thirty years. In the era of the so-called "war on terror" his perspective on the subject is more important than ever. This book deserves to be widely read: its message on the need for respect for human rights is a vital one in these security-oriented days.' - Professor Conor Gearty, Rausing Director, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE

'From one of the founding fathers of terrorism studies, an urgent and necessary reminder of that which we must hold dear in combating all forms of terrorism. Paul Wilkinson understands the vital lessons to be learned from responding to terrorism, and this updated edition of his landmark book is absolutely essential reading.' - Dr John Horgan, University of St Andrews

‘This is a well-argued, balanced book on a subject where sound judgement is often lacking. Professor Wilkinson, one of the leading authorities on the subject of terrorism, discusses both the terrorist threat and the appropriateness of military, legal and diplomatic responses with clarity and persuasion. This book is an important addition to the literature on terrorism and deserves to be widely read.’ -Dr Alex Schmid

Wilkinson's second edition is not just an eloquently written and challenging read, it is also a comprehensive resource on Global Terrorism. - Romeike

'…an exceptionally impressive book'- Aaron Edwards, Political Studies Review

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Revised Edition 2. Terrorism, Insurgency and Asymmetrical Conflict 3. The Emergence of Modern Terrorism 4. Origins and Key Characteristics of Al Qaeda 5. Politics, Diplomacy and Peace Processes: Pathways Out of Terrorism? 6. Law-Enforcement, Criminal Justice and the Liberal State 7. The Role of the Military in Combating Terrorism 8. Hostage-Taking, Sieges and Problems of Response 9. Aviation Security 10. The Media and Terrorism 11. International Cooperation Against Terrorism 12. The Future of Terrorism 13. Conclusion: Towards a Response to Terrorism Based on Democratic Principles and Respect for Human Rights. Appendix 1: Select Addresses of Internet Sources on Terrorism. Appendix 2: International Conventions and Protocols Pertaining to International Terrorism

About the Authors

Paul Wilkinson is Professor of International Relations and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews. His publications include Contemporary Research on Terrorism (as co-editor, 1987) and Aviation Terrorism and Security (as co-editor, 1999). He co-authored with Joseph S. Nye Jr. and Yukio Satoh the report to the Trilateral Commission (2003) Addressing the New International Terrorism; Prevention, Intervention and Multilateral Co-operation and served as Adviser to Lord Lloyd of Berwick’s Inquiry into Legislation Against Terrorism, and authored vol. two, the Research Report for the Inquiry (1996).

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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