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The Politics of Terror

Erica Chenoweth and Pauline L. Moore

Publication Date - January 2018

ISBN: 9780199795666

528 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99

The only text on terrorism to present integrated coverage of analytic approaches, core concepts, and historical cases


Bringing together both classic and contemporary research, The Politics of Terror provides a systematic introduction to the theory, politics, and practice of terrorism. In addition to offering a comprehensive, evidence-based overview of the subject, Chenoweth and Moore challenge readers to think critically. The book is oriented around a set of empirical, theoretical, and methodological puzzles that arise in the study of terrorism. By encouraging students to engage with these puzzles, and equipping them with the resources to do so thoughtfully, the authors present a nuanced introduction to a complex and crucially important field.


  • A comprehensive introduction presents each of the leading analytical approaches, allowing students to easily compare them
  • Every chapter is framed around an empirical or theoretical puzzle, which the authors use to orient their discussions of the evidence, explanations, and proposals available in the field
  • Real-world scenarios in every chapter allow students to see how to use the tools of social science to generate unique insights into the behavior of terrorist organizations
  • Pedagogical features, including country case studies, boxes, discussion questions, and suggested readings, invite students to pursue the subject matter beyond the text

About the Author(s)

Erica Chenoweth is Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Pauline L. Moore is Associate Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.


"This is an excellent textbook that far surpasses what is currently available. The Politics of Terror does a masterful job detailing the theoretical approaches to the study of terrorism. It uses rich data and interesting examples to illustrate complex themes. Students of all levels will benefit from this book." --Michael Jensen, University of Maryland

"The distinct advantage of this book is that I don't feel the need to supplement with other books to thoroughly cover the topic. It covers all the major material and is balanced in its approach." --Andrea Malji, Transylvania University

"The chapters are all well written and the structure is helpful. The book also does a good job of involving current and relevant scholarship and then helping students to understand the contributions of that scholarship." --Tyler White, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Table of Contents


    Part I: Analyzing Terrorism

    Chapter 1 Introducing Terrorism

    Chapter 2 The Strategic Approach

    Chapter 3 The Organizational Approach

    Chapter 4 The Psychological Approach

    Chapter 5 The Ideological Approach

    Chapter 6 Structural Approaches

    Chapter 7 Critical Approaches

    Part II: Explaining Terrorist Behavior

    Chapter 8 Terrorist Target Selection

    Chapter 9 Suicide Terrorism

    Chapter 10 Terrorism & Social Services

    Chapter 11 State Sponsorship of Terrorism

    Chapter 12 Gender & Terrorism

    Part III: Countering Terrorism

    Chapter 13 Counterterrorism Instruments

    Chapter 14 The Politics of Counterterrorism

    Chapter 15 Conclusion: How Terrorism Ends



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