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: 72539 Find in a Library
Title: Reflections on Elucidating the Causes of Terrorism From a Police Perspective (From Causes of Terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany, P 154-168, 1978, Hans-Dieter Schwind, ed. - See NCJ-72531)
Author(s): R Rupprecht
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Possible causes of terrorism in West Germany, directions of research on causes, and applications of research results to police preventive measures are discussed.
Abstract: The author stresses the need for parent, school, and community cooperation in any measures undertaken to prevent terrorism. Research on causes of terrorism on an international level is a necessary prerequisite for prevention as well as for rehabilitation efforts. Possible causes include individual predisposition, famly dynamics, educational experiences, and circles of friends. Terrorism surfaces most frequently during individuals' university studies, probably because of students' loosening bonds to their families, the impersonality of German universities, and young students' exposure to extreme ideologies and groups typical of university life. During the same developmental period, the idealistic social attitudes of certain individuals frequently collide with everyday reality and the pragmatic, less-than-idealistic values of industrial society. Key experiences such as arrest or confrontation with the police during a demonstration may precipitate violent terrorist acts. The development of terrorist inclinations is furthered by political ideologies such as anarchism, marxism, and the teachings of Marighella on urban guerrillas. Terrorist groups are attractive because they reduce individual isolation by providing a social support system united by common goals. International terrorist groups have clearly furnished examples for German terrorist operations. In any case, monocausal explanations for the evolution of terrorism are inadequate. Information about terrorists can be obtained from former radicals, terrorists' friends and families, terrorists' letters and publicatons, and comparable goals of groups outside the terrorist movement. Research must combine insights gained through psychology, pedagogy, theology, sociology, political science, and criminology. Research should encompass a number of subprojects, i.e., analysis of individual biographies and of terrorist group dynamics in recruiting and leadership, investigation of social and political conditions conducive to terrorism, ideological and academic roots of terrorism, and international terrorist connections. Diagnosis of causes should make possible effective public relations efforts designed to inform the public about terrorism, to isolate terrorists from sympathizers, and to promote elimination of contributive causes. Study of causes also facilitates development of effective antiterrorism laws. Notes are supplied. --in German.
Index Term(s): Change management; Counter-terrorism tactics; Germany; Police community relations; Police crime-prevention; Research; Research uses in policymaking; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Terrorist tactics
Note: Sammlung Goeschen (Goeschen Collection) 2806.
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.