ABOUT THIS BOOK
In this innovative study, Michel Wieviorka applies interventionist sociology to a comparative analysis of Italian, Peruvian, Basque, and Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Through staged confrontations between terrorists and their targets, and extensive interviews with both parties, he throws new light on the terrorists and their relationships both to the movements they represent and the social institutions they attempt to destroy.
Wieviorka demonstrates that the truly terrorist actor has become alienated both from the collective movement and society. The actor turns to the blind violence when he finds himself cut off from the very ideology which legitimates his actions. Pure terrorism, Wieviorka concludes, is more than simply a break between those who use it and those it targets; it is also a relationship—between the individual and the collective he represents—which has been rendered unrealistic or artificial. Thus, terrorist violence should be understood not as the desperate act of a faltering movement but as a substitute for a movement which has fallen away from the ideology in which it was forged.
For the revelations it offers on the roots and motivations of terrorism, for its innovative methods, and for its useful comparative analysis of terrorist groups in recent history, The Making of Terrorism will be an important resource across many disciplines for anyone interested in terrorism or political violence.