The relatively stable post-Cold War international order and the steady growth of internationalization and political, economic and social globalization have increasingly led to challenges in the last two decades. The terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 were the opening event to a new era in international politics challenging the foundation our global order rests upon: The Westphalian system. After the peace of Westphalia in 1648, previously unheard principles were developed to govern the relations between different territorial entities. The state became the only legitimate and primary actor in political affairs, defined by sovereignty within clear boundaries. The principle of legality – the belief that all states are equal and only winning war can put one above the other – became the basis of international cooperation and conflict.… Seguir leyendo »
Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.
The so-called Islamic State has dominated and continues to dominate headlines with the recent Barcelona attacks, for which it claimed responsibility. Although the question of what makes someone become a terrorist has been discussed since the rise of left-wing terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s, the rise of ISIS has intensified the discourse surrounding the processes of radicalization. The attackers were young and seemingly well-integrated immigrants of Moroccan descent and did not suffer from objective economic hardships. Yet they made the decision to kill and die for jihad. What drives those, who have lived in the West for all their lives or for a very long period of their lives, to sacrifice themselves for an organization that predominantly fights to gain territory in Iraq and Syria.… Seguir leyendo »
While the ideological appeal of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) remains high as exemplified by the recent attacks throughout the United Kingdom, the group’s territorial base is constantly shrinking. It is too early to proclaim the end of the caliphate or the defeat of ISIS. After all, Al-Qaeda was believed to have vanished into nothing more than a ghost of the past, yet it continues to operate, albeit with changed organizational character. ISIS, just like Al-Qaeda, will not just vanish even if all territory held by the group was liberated. One does not simply defeat terrorism by physical force. ISIS as an idea and an ideal will continue to live on far beyond its physical manifestation.… Seguir leyendo »
Following the recent terrorist attack in London that left seven dead and several wounded and in light of the previous two attacks on Westminster Bridge and in Manchester, British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to allow for more extensive law enforcement measures in fighting extremism. The Prime Minister stated that if human rights laws would prevent the government from pursuing their agenda against extremism, the government would “change the laws so we can do it”. UK intelligence services already possess a variety of intrusive powers to manage the threat that is perceived as especially challenging in Great Britain today, namely identifying, monitoring and countering ‘homegrown’ extremists and their supporters.… Seguir leyendo »
With the rise of the so-called Islamic State new questions for terrorism research emerged. Especially the social media use of the organization has both fascinated and worried practitioners and academics alike. One of the most worrying features of the new, virtual display of Salafi-jihadist ideology is the increasing number of people from all over the world, who seek to join this movement. We as societies need to ask ourselves what may drive young people towards this type of ideology. One of the possible underlying mechanisms for increased online radicalization from a sociological point of view is explored in the following by showing that today’s youth may be easier influenced in an online setting than older generations were.… Seguir leyendo »
In Munich a gunman shot nine people, in Würzburg a man attacked train passengers with a knife and an axe, in Ansbach a suicide bomber detonated his bomb at a music festival and in Nice a man purposefully ran over pedestrians in a truck. All these attacks took place in the last year and were executed by individuals not belonging to a terrorist organization. It is therefore not surprising that lone wolf terrorism is seen as an increasing problem.
Terrorist acts planned and perpetrated by individual actors are not a new phenomenon, but have recently come to the forefront of public awareness again with a perceived hike in attacks of this kind.… Seguir leyendo »
In Munich a gunman shot nine people, in Würzburg a man attacked train passengers with a knife and an axe, in Ansbach a suicide bomber detonated his bomb at a music festival and in Nice a man purposefully ran over pedestrians in a truck. Each of these attacks took place in the last year and were executed by individuals not belonging to a terrorist organization.
It is therefore not surprising that lone wolf terrorism is seen as an increasing problem. Terrorist acts planned and perpetrated by individual actors are not a new phenomenon, but have recently come to the forefront of public awareness again with what is apparently a significant increase in attacks of this kind.… Seguir leyendo »
2016 has been a bumpy road so far for politics, most notably with an unexpected Brexit vote and (according to the polls) an equally unexpected victory for Donald Trump over his opponent Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidency in the US. Many Europeans feel slightly insecure in light of this new political order and the year 2017 promises to bring other decisive political events in the form of elections in France, Hungary, Norway and the Netherlands. The far-right leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, is ranked high in the polls and hopes to secure victory riding on the high anxiety resulting from the recent terror attacks.… Seguir leyendo »
Since the 9/11 attacks, terrorism and the corresponding academic field of terrorism studies have been filling the headlines and cover-stories of newspapers and provided opening stories for news shows on TV. Not one day goes by without reference in the media to terrorist groups, a new terror attack or the question of how the West should respond to this threat. Despite the attention the subject gets in the media, the work of Terrorism Studies scholars is often disregarded in popular debates. While government and other officials are engaging in constant conversation with the scholars and their findings, citizens as a whole find themselves surrounded by popular notions of ‘the War on Terror’, but are rarely given information about the origins and dynamics of the groups engaging in terrorist acts.… Seguir leyendo »