Terrorism and War

Robert E. Hunter

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Terrorism and War

Show Summary Details


Given the contemporary impact of terrorism and its likely persistence, in one or another form and at one level of intensity or another, it is highly important to understand just what it is—and what it is not—as well as its place within the wider phenomenon of warfare. Indeed, the phenomenon of terrorism—or, more precisely, the different phenomena that are often lumped together under that single term—has many different forms and as many different uses. To begin with, terrorism is about the stimulation of fear, in particular intense fear. But as defined for the purposes of this study, it also has to be seen as something else: a deliberate act, as opposed to just random violence. Individuals (or groups or nations) can experience terror that derives from accident or even natural events. Here, by contrast, the element of deliberation is crucial, a conscious act. That definition can also cover acts of nihilism—given that just seeking to cause destruction, as of a particular social order, can be seen as purposeful in regard to promoting change.

Keywords: terrorism; war; warfare; violence; fear; deliberate act

Article.  6628 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.