Terrorism Studies (TS) experienced a marginal position before 9/11. TS were largely influenced by contexts like the decolonization struggles, cold war proxy wars and the fall-out of the student protests of 1968. Once major funding from governments began to stimulate the field, the research agenda of TS became closely tied to policy needs, morphing largely into counter-terrorism studies (CTS), especially in the US, the UK and Israel – countries still dominating the field. As a response, critical terrorism studies emerged as a sub-field, with heavy emphasis on alleged state terrorism. Political science and international security studies dominated the field, with anthropology, criminology, and conflict and religious studies entering late. While quantitative studies were popular for some time, field studies among radical communities have become more frequent, with richer results. The field is still plagued by demarcation problems (terrorism vs. other forms of political violence), access to relevant sources, division into separate academic disciplines, and political correctness linked to ideology and funding opportunities. Major emerging trends include research on the role of social media in terrorist recruitment, link between extremism and terrorism, counter-radicalisation and counter-narratives and evaluation studies of CT measures.
About the Speaker:
Professor Emeritus Alex P. Schmid is a Research Fellow of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague. He is also Director of the Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI), an international network of 15 institutes and more than 100 individual scholars and professionals seeking to enhance security through collaborative research. Dr. Schmid is Editor-in-Chief of the online journal ‘Perspectives on Terrorism’. (www.terrorismanalysts.com) and former Co-editor of ‘Terrorism and Political Violence’. Previous positions held included Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) in Vienna and Director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where Dr. Schmid also held a chair in International Relations. He has more than 180 reports and publications to his name, including the acclaimed ‘Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research’ (2011/13), a sequel to his award-winning handbook on Political Terrorism (1984/1988/2005).
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Ms Yvonne Lee
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