David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Review Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (1):1-38 (2008)
In this paper, a two-fold strategy is carried out for gaining conceptual clarity in response to the question: What is terrorism? The first stage is to defend a broad working definition of terrorism that emphasizes the instrumental employment of terror or fear to obtain any number of possible ends. As proposed in this paper, Terrorism is an act or threat of violence to persons or property that elicits terror, fear, or anxiety regarding the security of human life or fundamental rights and that functions as an instrument to obtain further ends. This instrumentality relies upon either an explicit or implicit threat of separate acts of future violence. It is argued that such a functionalist approach to defining terrorism captures the core qualities that unite the broad family of both political and nonpolitical terrorist actions. At the same time, the proposed definition avoids the problems associated with other approaches that either focus upon the terrorist’s ‘unconventional’ tactics, or the ‘innocence’ of their targets, or their coercive intentions. The breadth of the proposed definition allows for the more nuanced typological analysis in the second stage. The typology is primarily an analysis of the modes of terrorism’s instrumentality. Thus, the broad phenomenon of terrorism is divided according to factors of targets, the degree of force employed, agency, and the geographic context of the action. It is only by drawing out the diverse types of terrorism that the projects of morally evaluating terrorism and formulating a just response to terrorism can take place in a concrete and meaningful way.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Samir Kumar Das & Rada Iveković (eds.) (2010). Terror, Terrorism, States, and Societies: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective. Women Unlimited.
Nicholas Maxwell (2007). The Disastrous War Against Terrorism: Violence Versus Enlightenment. In Albert W. Merkidze (ed.), Terrorism Issues: Threat Assessment , Consequences and Prevention.
Jay Sloan-Lynch (2011). Domestic Abuse as Terrorism. Hypatia 27 (3):774 - 790.
Claudia Card (2003). Questions Regarding a War on Terrorism. Hypatia 18 (1):164 - 169.
Shawn Kaplan (2009). Three Prejudices Against Terrorism. Critical Studies on Terrorism 2 (2):181-199.
Jeremy Waldron (2004). Terrorism and the Uses of Terror. Journal of Ethics 8 (1):5-35.
Anne Schwenkenbecher (2010). Terrorism Against Non-Innocents: The Ethical Implications. In Paul Omoyefa (ed.), Basic Applied Ethics. VDM.
Scott C. Lowe (2006). Defining Terrorism. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 2:253-256.
Added to index2009-08-13
Total downloads64 ( #29,735 of 1,692,493 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #181,267 of 1,692,493 )
How can I increase my downloads?