The Infectiousness of Terrorist Ideology

Kevin D. Lafferty, Katherine F. Smith and Elizabeth M. P. Madin

in Natural Security

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253476
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934313 | DOI:
The Infectiousness of Terrorist Ideology

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This chapter views terrorism through the lens of epidemiology, where terrorist ideology is analogous to an infectious agent of threat to global public health. It explores if and how epidemiological theory can increase our understanding of the dynamics and spread of terrorist ideology—the belief structures on which acts of terror are supported, justified, and carried out. It also presents an epidemiological approach to form the basis for understanding, controlling, and predicting the spread of infectious pathogens in human and wildlife populations. The chapter highlights both the similarities and contrasts between infectious agents and terrorist ideology by drawing parallels between the spread of these two threats.

Keywords: terrorism; epidemiology; terrorist ideology; epidemiological theory; infectious pathogens; infectious agents

Chapter.  8209 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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