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NCJ Number: 221783 Find in a Library
Title: Democracy, Al Qaeda, and the Causes of Terrorism: A Strategic Analysis of U.S. Policy
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:40-59
Author(s): Michael Freeman
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 20
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes how the U.S. strategy of spreading democracy to defeat terrorism promoted by al Qaeda and like-minded Islamic extremist groups would likely impact four sets of underlying motivations for such terrorism.
Abstract: The article concludes that U.S. efforts to spread democracy are unlikely to counter the four primary motivations for radical Islamist terrorism, i.e., American military occupation of Muslim countries, perceptions of the West's threat to Islamic identity and culture, the economic failures of modernization, and the substitution of a secular political ideology for religious extremism. Because these are four of the main grievances against the West that have fueled the ideology of global jihad, the strategy of spreading democracy as a means of weakening the strength of these motivations will probably be ineffective and possibly counterproductive. This U.S. policy may be counterproductive because democracies can provide easier operational environments for terrorists, because democracies promote civil liberties, particularly the freedom to mount opposition to existing political structures and promote ideologies that challenge the status quo. 101 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Arab terrorist groups; Counter-terrorism tactics; International terrorism; Religiously motivated violence; Terrorism causes; Terrorist ideologies
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