The Psychology of Terrorism

2nd Edition

By John Horgan

© 2014 – Routledge

184 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415698023
pub: 2014-06-16
US Dollars$51.95
x
Hardback: 9780415698009
pub: 2014-06-16
US Dollars$178.95
x

Look Inside Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

This new edition of John Horgan's critically acclaimed book is fully revised and expanded.

The book presents a critical analysis of our existing knowledge and understanding of terrorist psychology. Despite the on-going search for a terrorist pathology, the most insightful and evidence-based research to date not only illustrates the lack of any identifiable psychopathology in terrorists, but demonstrates how frighteningly 'normal' and unremarkable in psychological terms are those who engage in terrorist activity. By producing a clearer map of the processes that impinge upon the individual terrorist, a different type of terrorist psychology emerges, one which has clearer implications for efforts at countering and disrupting violent extremism in today's world.

In this 2nd edition, Horgan further develops his approach to the arc of terrorism by delving deeper into his IED model of Involvement, Engagement and Disengagement – the three phases of terrorism experienced by every single terrorist. Drawing on new and exciting research from the past decade, with new details from interviews with terrorists ranging from al-Qaeda to left-wing revolutionaries, biographies and autobiographies of former terrorists, and insights from historic and contemporary terrorist attacks since 2005, Horgan presents a fully revised and expanded edition of his signature text.

This new edition of The Psychology of Terrorism will be essential reading for students of terrorism and political violence, and counterterrorism studies, and recommended for forensic psychology, criminology, international security and IR in general.

Reviews

‘Horgan reminds us that although there is no pathology that explains all terrorists or their crimes, nonetheless, individual choice matters. This book provides an important contribution to our understanding of the political psychology of terrorism. Essential reading for both students and terrorism professionals, from one of world’s best informed and wisest analysts of terror.’ -- Jessica Stern, Harvard University, USA

'This is an important revision to a book already well established as a leader in the area. The new material brings it up to date, and extends the analysis, increasing its relevance. The role of psychology in understanding terrorism has become much more important, and this book contributes to that improved understanding.'-- Max Taylor, University of St Andrews, UK

'One of the best applications of psychology to explain the drivers that motivate individuals to become terrorists, function as terrorists, and, in ideal cases, disengage from terrorism.'-- Joshua Sinai, ‘Terrorism Bookshelf: Top 150 Books on Terrorism and Counterterrorism’, Perspectives on Terrorism

"The bottom line: no one knows how to do counterterrorism better because (a) the right research has not been done and (b) even if unbiased scholars figured out what seems to work, practitioners disabled by cognitive bias and personal agendas may not listen. Horgan admits that this might seem depressing, but his candor is uplifting. It's high time to expose and overcome the structural, political, and psychological underpinnings of our continued homeland insecurity. Ultimately, the conclusion of this excellent book is a dignified call for new thinking on terrorism and how to counter it with increasing sophistication and success."

Dr. Jeff Victoroff is Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Southern California.

Table of Contents

Preface to 2nd Edition

Introduction

1: Psychological Warfare

2: Understanding Terrorism

3: Terrorist Minds?

4: Involvement

5: Engagement

6: Disengagement

7: Towards a Science of Terrorist Behaviour

Select Bibliography

About the Author

John Horgan is Professor of Security Studies and Director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA. He is co-editor of The Future of Terrorism (Cass 2000, with Max Taylor) and the Terrorism Studies Reader (Routledge 2011, with Kurt Braddock), and author of The Psychology of Terrorism (Routledge 2005), Walking Away from Terrorism (Routledge 2009) and, most recently, Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland’s Dissident Terrorists (2013).

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:
HIS027000
HISTORY / Military / General
POL011000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POL012000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POL035000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POL037000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism
PSY000000
PSYCHOLOGY / General