Criminological Perspectives On Terrorism

1519 Words7 Pages
Before one can attempt to understand terrorism, a clear and concise definition of terrorism must be determined. For the purpose of applying criminological theories in an attempt to understand why terrorism occurs, I have chosen to use the definition provided by Bueno de Mesquita as given by Callaway and Harrelson-Stephens: Any act of violence undertaken for the purpose of altering a government’s political policies or actions that targets those who do not actually have the personal authority to alter governmental policy… [terrorism is] designed to spread fear and anxiety (terror) through a population so that it will, in turn, put pressure on its leaders to change policies in a way favored by terrorists. (2006, pp. 775). Classicalism attempts…show more content…
There is a pattern of continuity if an individual maintains continuous and stable behavior over a period of time whereas if this individual changes his or her behavior or stops a behavior altogether, a pattern of change is experienced (Cullen, et al., 2014). The life-course perspective begins research into ones criminal behavior at an early age and looks for these patterns of change or continuity as the individual ages. Can this explain terrorist acts and crimes? It certainly could offer insight when combined with the social bond theory discussed earlier. How does the early social environment, relationships, and teachings a person is exposed to in early life affect the way he or she develops and interacts with others he or she comes into contact with? Do the changing relationships, educational evolution, and development of ones own personal interpretations and beliefs change the way one has been brought up to be? No one can say with absolute certainty that change would or would not occur. Change, or lack thereof, will vary from person to person. However, using the life-course perspective in the study of terrorism could offer some interesting opportunities to better understand why terrorists behave the way they do. Can terrorists desist from terrorist activities over time? Through my own understanding of readings thus far and personal experiences, this is a difficult question to answer. Often terrorists do not survive long enough for any form of longitudinal study to occur. In the cases where a terrorist has been detained, getting information relevant to conducting a longitudinal study is hard at best and impossible at worst. So ingrained are terrorists in their belief systems, ideologies, religious convictions, and committal to their cause that offering insight into their behavior is not a priority (Seaburn,

More about Criminological Perspectives On Terrorism

Open Document