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The Transformation Of Terrorism Essay

2589 words - 10 pages

Terrorism like any other political concepts has encountered various definitions by different scholars and organizations. It has no precise or broadly accepted definition, but to put it in a description way, it would be simply stating terrorism as “a violence or the threat of violence calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm – in a word, to terrorize- and thereby bring about some social or political change” (Rapoport, 2002). Furthermore, the term of terrorism has been defined by the U.S. Department of Defense, which is defined as “ the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological objectives.”(Hoffman, 2006:12). In addition, in 2004, the resolution of 1566 by the United Nation Security Council gave a wider range of understanding about what is terrorism, which condemned terrorist acts as “criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature," (UN Security Council Resolution 1566, 2004). In 1975, the first use of ‘terrorism’ word was by French Revolution in relation to the Reign of Terror started by the revolutionary government at that time, but the use of terror in a systematic way such as a policy was recorded in English in 1798 for the first time (Crenshaw, 2007:31). However, over the past half century, its meaning has been changed to the use of violence by ‘small groups’ to accomplish a political change (Baylis et al, 2008:372). Thus, it can be argued that the main reason of facing challenge to define the term Terrorism is perhaps because the meaning has changed so often in the past two hundred years. The following waves (dynamic period) will explain the history of terrorism to be more familiar with the term Terrorism.

First Wave: Anarchist Wave. A Doctrine Creation?
The anarchist initiated the first wave, and also they were the first experience of international terrorism in history, which began in 1880s and stayed for almost about 40 years. Their primary strategy was campaigns assassinations against the prominent officials. In the beginning, it was a political violence wave that inspired by the ideas of anarchist, and later was marked as “anarchist terrorism” (Kegley, 2003:38). They initiated their activities by traditional revolutionaries and spreading...

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