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NCJ Number: 69564 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Relation Between Terrorism and Domestic Civil Disorders
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:4  Issue:1-4  Dated:(1980)  Pages:123-141
Author(s): D J Monti
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Examination of the evolution of civil violence in New York City for nearly 300 years offers an understanding of the historically conservative nature of collective violence and the low potential for terror in the U.S.
Abstract: Parallels drawn between terrorism and civil disorder have been substantiated by observers who note that (1) less organized forms of urban rioting tend to complement outbreaks of organized terrorism, and (2) such breakdowns in public security tend to be complemented by the development of a parallel or underground government in competition with the threatened regime. A survey of the uses of collective violence in New York City since 1690 shows a mix of violent activities, including terrorist bombings, communal gang fights, modern race riots, and reactionary working class attacks on 'troublemakers,' which distinguishes the evolution of collective violence in New York from that in European countries. Unlike the communally inspired defenses of local customs typical of 'reactionary' European disorders, the conflicts surrounding American colonial revolution successfully vindicated the use of violence in behalf of locally prescribed economic and political practices. Urban American civil violence not only was politicized earlier than in European towns but also was successfully directed toward a defense of local customs. Civil disorders have, in New York, involved the participation both of upper-class crowds and organizations that help the disorders to retain their conservative character. Moreover, violence seems to have been adopted only when alternative methods of addressing problems were unavailable or had been shown to be ineffective. The absence of any effective tradition in using collective violence to subvert and replace domestic governments combined with minorities' inability to establish shadow governments of any consequence in their own communities has precluded the phenomenon of domestic terrorism. However, serious efforts by government agencies to expunge mob violence from the political scene could push more persons into clandestine organizations dedicated to terrorism. Intermittent episodes of mass violence in cities are more firmly rooted in American policymaking than most commonly accepted techniques of recalling some public officials for unsatisfactory conduct. Over 30 references and a chronological list of mob actions in New York City are provided.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Civil disorders; Collective violence; Cultural influences; Domestic terrorism; New York; Political influences; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Threat assessment
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