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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99426 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorist Behaviour
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:58  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1985)  Pages:195-202
Author(s): M Taylor
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After a consideration of clinical conceptualizations of terrorist behavior, this article presents an analysis of terrorist motivation and goals that provides a more utilitarian approach to understanding such behavior.
Abstract: Much of what has been written on terrorist behavior seeks to explain it in terms of abnormality and mental illness. Such an approach presents problems because it subsumes deviance within a medical rather than a social or psychological model. A more useful conceptualization is to view terrorism as being at the extreme continuum of behavior. Diverse explanations of the motivations of terrorist actions have been offered, including group cohesion, alienation, breakdown in communications, publicity-seeking, frustration-aggression, financial gain, and excitement. Whatever the motivations, its consequences have utility, immediacy of effect, and are rewarding to the actor. To view terrorism in terms similar to those in which other criminal behaviors can be seen provides options for more effective remedial action. Such a conceptualization focuses more on the environmental and behavioral context within which the terrorist acts and less on personal characteristics. Included are 20 references.
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Motivation; Psychological theories; Terrorist profiles
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