Terrorism and political violence have invariably accompanied the progressive modernization of states; a socio-cultural reaction to the problems of social change and development. To understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to consider the nature of traditional society and how it differs from modernity. Starting with a basic history of modern terrorism, James Dingley uses a Durkheimian sociological framework to dissect the role of social relations, culture and religion in impelling men and women to defend their socio-cultural context with violence against the challenge of external forces. Placing emphasis on a historical and social understanding of violence and key issues such as nationalism, religion, science, the Enlightenment and Romanticism for understanding terrorism in all its forms, this book allows for a more critical examination of terrorism as a response to changes in the organization and cultural goals in a society. It is a decisive contribution to our understanding of the political and social relevance of terrorism as we know and experience it today.
’An original and stimulating study, deploying wide-ranging sociological arguments to analyse a vital subject’ Richard English, Queen's University Belfast, UK and author of Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA and of Terrorism: How to Respond 'Presenting a convincing, cohesive and closely argued analysis, this work is a significant and accessible contribution to the professional literature. While asserting that terrorism is neither a new, nor primarily political phenomenon, Dingley illuminates a theoretical gap…Arranged in six chapters and a conclusion, this is a work which reflects Dingley's deep connection to terrorism and extremism. For 20 years a resident of Northern Ireland, and currently living and working in Kurdistan, Dingley has researched terrorism extensively, and met many terrorists from Ireland, Iraq and Turkey. The author's sensitivity to the issues he addresses is amplified by service with the security forces of many countries, and as a NATO instructor. Practitioners and scholars alike will derive benefit from Dingley's work, which makes a decisive, systematic, yet readable contribution to our understanding of terrorism as a political and social construct, the impact of which will reverberate for years to come.' Australian Defence Force Journal 'The main idea of Terrorism and the Politics of Social Change is that sociology has something important to add to our understanding of terrorism. Dingley argues this point well, grounding it in a classical approach to sociology that takes seriously "structure, system and function".' Journal of Church and State '… James Dingley’s Terrorism and the Politics of Social Change is an informed and informative analysis of the contextual sources of terrorism…' e-International Relations
Contents: Foreword; Introduction; War and violence: understanding the breeds; Terrorism: understanding the heavens; The heavens described; Making the man - terrorism charted and defined; Terrorism in the modern world; Durkheim, sociology and understanding terrorism; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.