Chapter

Introduction

karin lofthus carrington and susan griffin

in Transforming Terror

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520251021
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949454 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251021.003.0001
Introduction

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Over the last decade, there has been a vicious cycle in which terrorism causes terror and the experience of terror seeds acts of terrorism. Instead of viewing terrorism according to those who enact it, this book argues that it should be viewed from the perspective of those who are harmed by it. Thus, it sees terrorism as acts of violence against unarmed civilians, no matter who perpetrates them. The book considers the way terror damages the human psyche or soul, and how it is through this damage that the world enters seemingly endless cycles of violence. The first part contains a series of chapters that chart the psychological, social, and cultural processes—from trauma to denial, fear and the illusion of power—by which terror and violence lead to more terror and violence. The second part of the book presents insights, approaches, and understandings—from the necessity for justice to the role gender has often played in violence, to the knowledge of interdependence and the experience of compassion—through which vicious cycles of terror might be transformed.

Keywords: violence; terrorism; terror; psyche; soul; trauma; denial; fear; justice; compassion

Chapter.  1237 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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