• Summary
  • Contents

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?”

Is the “New Terrorism” Really New?
Is the “new terrorism” really new?

Terrorism is an age-old phenomenon, extending as far back as human records take us. Although scholars and practitioners will likely never agree on a definition of terrorism (including many of the authors in this volume), at its core terrorism is the use of violence against noncombatants for political purposes.1

A primary challenge to developing a firm definition of terrorism, aside from the inherent subjectivity of the act itself, is that the term has evolved over time. In the 1790s, Robespierre employed the first modern usage of the ...

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