Debate is an important part of the classroom experience. However, most debate-style readers do a disservice to students by selecting readings from disparate sources that end up talking past one another. As a part of the Debating Politics series from CQ Press, this reader is different. Featuring paired pron pieces written specifically for this volume, Debating Terrorism encourages students to actively grapple with the central debates and questions surrounding the subject of terrorism and counterterrorism . With topics ranging from the root causes of terrorism, the role of religion in terrorism, whether suicide terrorism is ever justified, whether the spread of democracy can help defeat terrorism, and what trade-offs, if any, should exist between security and civil liberties, GottliebÆs outstanding cast of contributors returns in this edition, compelling students to wrestle with the conflicting perspectives that define the field. Gottlieb frames the complexity and sophistication of these issues with incisive chapter headnotes providing students with the requisite context and preparing them to read each argument critically, allowing them to understand the past, present, and future of terrorism and counterterrorism. Each of the selections has been thoroughly updated to account for recent world events, policy changes, and new scholarship. New to the reader, and by reviewer request, is a chapter, “Can Global Institutions Make a Difference in Fighting Terrorism?”
Part I: Debating Terrorism
- Chapter 1: Is the “New Terrorism” Really New?
- No: The “New Terrorism” of Al-Qaeda Is Not So New
- Yes: Al-Qaeda Is an Example of a “New Terrorism”
- Chapter 2: Does Poverty Serve as a Root Cause of Terrorism?
- No: Poverty Is a Weak Causal Link
- Yes: Poverty Is an Important Cause
- Chapter 3: Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?
- No: Terrorist Violence Is Never Justified
- Yes: Terrorism Is a Just Tool of the Weak
- Chapter 4: Does Islam Play a Unique Role in Modern Religious Terrorism?
- Yes: Islam Has a Unique Impact on Modern Terrorism
- No: Islam Itself Is Not the Problem in the Current Wave of Global Terrorism
- Chapter 5: Is Suicide Terrorism an Effective Tactic?
- Yes: Suicide Terrorism Is a Pragmatic Choice
- No: Suicide Terrorism Is a Political Failure
- Chapter 6: Is Nuclear Terrorism a Real Threat?
- Yes: The Threat Is Very Real
- No: The Threat Is Overblown
Part II: Debating Counterterrorism
- Chapter 7: Counterterrorism Strategies: Do We Need Bombs Over Bridges?
- No: There Is a Need to Focus More on Building Bridges
- Yes: More Creative Military Strategies Are Needed
- Chapter 8: Can Spreading Democracy Help Defeat Terrorism?
- No: Democracy Promotion Is Problematic as a Counterterrorism Priority
- Yes: Promoting Democracy Can Help Combat Terrorism
- Chapter 9: Can International Organizations Make a Difference in Fighting Terrorism?
- No: International Organizations Are Limited in Their Ability to Combat Terrorism
- Yes: International Organizations Are Necessary for Fighting International Terrorism
- Chapter 10: Is an Outright Ban the Best Way to Eliminate or Constrain Torture?
- Yes: Torture Violates U.S. and International Law and Should Never Be Allowed
- No: There Is a Need to Bring an Unfortunate Practice within the Bounds of Law
- Chapter 11: Counterterrorism and the Constitution: Does Providing Security Require a Trade-off with Civil Liberties?
- Yes: The United States Needs to Reasonably Limit Civil Liberties and Bolster Executive Powers
- No: Respecting Civil Liberties and Preventing Executive Overreach Are Critical to Preserving America's Security and Its Ideals
- Chapter 12: Conclusion: Is the Threat of Terrorism Being Overstated?
- Yes: The Threat of Terrorism Is Overblown and More Manageable Than Suspected
- No: The Threat Is Profound and Will Remain So for Some Time