Causes of and Solutions to Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism

Bradley A. Thayer

in Natural Security

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253476
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934313 | DOI:
Causes of and Solutions to Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism

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This chapter puts an evolutionary lens on the motivating factors and potential solutions to the problem of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. It argues that Islamic fundamentalist terrorism must be studied through a consilient approach, incorporating ideas from the life as well as social sciences, to aid social scientists and policy analysts in identifying its causes and solutions. Understanding the motivations of terrorists is critical for creating efficient policies to stop them, ideally before they ever become terrorists. This approach also allows policymakers to understand why few Islamic fundamentalist terrorists defect and how policies may be created to promote defections. Finally, this chapter advances the goal of consilience, that is, using insights from human evolution and ecology, as well as from the social sciences, to create a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of human behavior.

Keywords: Islamic fundamentalist terrorism; terrorism; terrorists; evolution; social sciences; human behavior

Chapter.  6977 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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