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Terrorism: How to Respond

Terrorism: How to Respond
Author: Richard English
ISBN 13: 9780199590032
ISBN 10: 199590036
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2010-09-15
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
List Price: $19.95

Richard English argues that the post-9/11 War on Terror has spectacularly failed and that we now need a radically new approach to dealing with international terrorism. Recent policies have ignored the lessons of the past, and Terrorism: How to Respond seeks to remedy this lack of vision by looking at the long history of terrorism and assessing why such violence emerges, how it is sustained, and—most crucially of all—how and why it ends.

Written by an historian who has long studied Irish terrorism and politics, this book argues that we cannot adequately respond to the practical challenge of terrorist violence around the world unless we are more honest about the precise nature of the phenomenon, and about explaining its true and complex causes. Drawing on first-hand research into terrorist organizations, Richard English offers an authoritative and accessible analysis of arguably the most urgent political problem of the twenty-first century—and how we can successfully respond to it.

Publishers Weekly

English (Armed Struggle), a professor of politics at Belfast's Queen's University, applies lessons learned from the sectarian struggle in Northern Ireland to the broader issue of international terrorism in this provocative primer. The author lambastes the "war on terror" for nurturing the "disaffection from which terrorist activity is generated." Effective response is contingent on a "sharper, more accurate, and more integrated" historical perspective, he posits, making selective comparisons between Irish and Islamic terrorism to tease out what conditions incite and sustain "significant terrorism campaigns." English's seven-point proposal (approaches the U.S. has "disastrously" ignored in its response to September 11) warns against "a primarily military response" and recommends instead a coordinated policy of security as well as financial and technological measures, with an emphasis on military intelligence-not force-as "the most vital element in successful counter-terrorism." More controversial is his advice to "learn to live with terrorism as part of our political reality" and his contention that terrorism, historically ubiquitous, can never be defeated, merely contained while we strive to address its "root problems." (Sept.)

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