Terrorism, War Against

Seumas Miller

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The phenomenon of terrorism is not new: any authoritative history of terrorism (e.g., Laqueur 1977) would include, for example, references to anti-state terrorism of groups such as the Narodniki (Populists) in nineteenth-century Russia (e.g., assassination attempts on the tsars), the state terrorism of the Committees of Public Safety and General Security during the so-called Reign of Terror in the late eighteenth-century French Revolution, and anti-colonialist terrorism in Africa (e.g., Algeria) and elsewhere in the post-World War II period (Whittaker 2003). Moreover, counterterrorism, including police and military counterterrorism strategies, is a well-developed field of study (Hewitt 1984). However, the idea of a war against terrorism is quite recent. It has come into vogue primarily, it seems, as a consequence of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC by al-Qaeda operatives. The person most famously associated with prosecuting what he called a war against terrorism was US President George Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 (Coady and O'Keefe 2002). The idea brings together two prior notions, that of war and that of terrorism, both of which are somewhat vague and subject to ideological manipulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of War
    EditorsGordon Martel
    Place of PublicationUnited States of America
    ISBN (Print)9781405190374
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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