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NCJ Number: 62729 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICS OF ATROCITY (FROM TERRORISM-INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES, 1977, BY YONAH ALEXANDER AND SEYMOUR MAXWELL FINGER - SEE NCJ-44307)
Author(s): D RAPOPORT
Corporate Author: John Jay Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: John Jay Press
New York, NY 10019
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: LEVELS OF ATROCITY EXHIBITED BY TERRORISTS ARE EXAMINED, AND TERRORISM IS VIEWED AS A WAY OF PRODUCING SOCIAL RESULTS AND AS A FORM OF PERSONAL THERAPY TO GAIN SELF-RESPECT.
Abstract: THE TRADITIONAL AND DISTINGUISHING FEATURE OF TERRORISTS IS THEIR EXPLICIT REFUSAL TO ACCEPT CONVENTIONAL MORAL LIMITS DEFINING MILITARY AND GUERRILLA ACTIONS. BECAUSE TERRORISTS KNOW THAT OTHERS BELIEVE VIOLENCE SHOULD BE LIMITED, THEY EXPLOIT VARIOUS RESPONSES OF THE ENEMY TO OUTRAGES. TERRORISTS THUS PERPETRATE ATROCITIES AND MANIPULATE REACTIONS TO THEM. A TERRORIST CRIME IS A CRIME FOR PUBLICITY. THE CRITICAL FACTOR IN GENERATING REACTION IS THE STATUS OF ASSAILANTS. IF A GOVERNMENT'S NATURAL RESPONSES ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY PROVOCATIVE, TERRORISTS CAN MAKE THEM MORE PROVOCATIVE BY ATROCITIES THAT INCREASE HATRED AND REDUCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION. THE LOGIC OF PUBLICITY AND PROVOCATION IS PARTICULARLY APPROPRIATE TO REVOLUTIONARY-LIKE SITUATIONS. ANY ORGANIZED FORM OF VIOLENCE CAN LEAD TO ACTS OF PURE TERROR BECAUSE THE RAGE OR INTEREST OF PARTIES IS CONDUCIVE TO VIOLATIONS OF UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED REGULATING CONVENTIONS. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT TERRORISTS WILL HAVE TO FIGHT NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR GOVERNMENTS THEY BELIEVE CANNOT YIELD WITHOUT DESTROYING THE ELEMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL IDENTITY. IN THE SENSE THAT TERRORIST MOVEMENTS FOCUS ON TERROR AS AN END IN ITSELF, THERAPEUTIC VALUE IS GAINED FROM CONFLICT, PARTICULARLY IF A CAUSE IS CONSIDERED WORTHY. SATISFACTION DERIVED BY MOST PEOPLE FROM FIGHTING IS RELATED TO FEELINGS OF RESPECT THEY HAVE FOR THE OPPOSING PARTY, THEMSELVES, AND A CAUSE. THE EXTENT TO WHICH TERROR IS SEEN AS A FORM OF THERAPY, HOWEVER, IS NOT KNOWN AMONG CONTEMPORARY TERRORIST GROUPS. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Political influences; Political offenders; Social change; Terrorist tactics; Urban guerrilla warfare
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62729

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