skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 229750 Find in a Library
Title: Is Terrorism a Group Phenomenon?
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:March/April 2010  Pages:121-129
Author(s): Max Taylor
Date Published: March 2010
Page Count: 9
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: A critical review is conducted on whether terrorism is a group phenomenon which is shown to depend on how terrorism is defined.
Abstract: This paper offers a critical review of the role of group processes in terrorist behavior. It draws on a fundamental distinction between terrorist 'involvement' and terrorist 'events' to explore what group phenomena might contribute to the understanding of actual terrorist behavior, as opposed to the context to terrorism. It does this through the use of a number of case studies of terrorist incidents, and explores how generalizations that might be made about potential group-focused causal accounts fail to offer sufficient explanations of the behavior identified. These case studies include The Jewel of Medina arson attack, and the PIRA attack that led to the death of Garda Jerry McCabe. This paper concludes by suggesting a need for a greater focus on individual activity in its immediate context, through empirical research into terrorist behavior, rather than its extensive hinterland. Figure and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Collective violence; Group behavior; Group dynamics; Individual behavior; Literature reviews; Terrorist profiles
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.