Moving beyond terror groups to examine non-state actors including warlords, gangs and private security companies, Violent Non-State Actors: • Guides you through the core theories and concepts, taking a multidisciplinary approach • Examines different explanations for the emergence of violent non-state actors as well as strategies for dealing with them • Weaves in international case studies from groups including the Islamic State, Los Zetas, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, as well as discussion questions, further reading and definitions of key terms A must read for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students in politics, international relations, security and terrorism studies.

Individual- and Societal-Level Explanations

Individual- and Societal-Level Explanations

Key Terms

  • Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
  • Black widows
  • Group processes
  • Narcissistic aggression
  • Terrorist personality

Overview of Individual-Level Theories

Individual and societal theories attempt to explain why individuals join violent groups or engage in acts of violence. Most of the research has focused on terrorist groups, but the chapter will also examine the factors that motivate actors to join economically motivated groups such as organized crime and criminal gangs. The chapter will not devote attention to insurgents, however, for several reasons. First, there has been little individual-level work done on insurgents, and second, the literature tends to conflate insurgents with terrorists. Any study that examines insurgency will be noted. In addition, as very few individual-level studies have been done that have examined warlords, marauding rebels, PSCs ...

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