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: 69851 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Causes of Anarchoterrorism - A Psychogenetic and Social-Anthropological Study
Author(s): G Nass
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 204
Sale Source: Kassel
Gesellschaft Fuer Vorbeugende
Klinikstr 7,
West Germany (Former)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The actions of West German terrorists are interpreted from a psychological standpoint with emphasis on the terrorists' utopian motives.
Abstract: Stated goals of early utopias include attainment of happiness: fulfillment through work, sexual freedom and the pursuit of collective sexual gratification, and liberation of women from familial responsibilities. Such utopian longings usually develop in critical situations, such as wars and periods of suffering, fear, or abandonment. Advocates of utopias want to bring joy to humanity; their leaders are ambivalent in both their behavior and in their relationship to their environment. Utopias tend to result from feelings of abandonment, are future-oriented, and occupy the same place in society as religions. Fanaticism arises from disturbances in the normal psychological development of individuals and masses, usually during late adolescence, as several examples of anarchists illustrate. First, a radical divergence of the fanatic's interior and exterior worlds occurs, then friends, family, and professional activities are abandoned, and an image of the enemy evolves. Anarchists are characterized by social masochism. Within the utopian setting, anarchists seek to bridge the gap between material reality and intellectual reality. Philosophical terms adopted in utopian thinking are ambivalent; actions are marked by a strong desire for power. In the author's view, any young person who ponders the sense of life and his position in the world is a potential terrorist, especially if the individuwal is not firmly rooted in external reality. Terrorism can best be thwarted by instilling the facility to think critically in developing adolescents. A bibliography is supplied. --in German.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Anarchism; Environmental influences; Germany; Home environment; Psychological theories; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Subversive activities; Terrorist ideologies; 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.