The Psychology of Terrorism
By John Horgan
To Be Published January 31st 2014 by Routledge – 224 pages
Series: Political Violence
This new edition of John Horgan's critically acclaimed book is fully revised and updated and contains three new chapters.
The book presents a critical analysis of our existing knowledge and understanding of terrorist psychology, and in doing so, highlights the substantial shortcomings and limitations of the nature and direction of current research. In so doing, it presents a unique model of involvement and engagement in terrorism by considering it as a process and exploring three distinct phases of the making of a terrorist: becoming involved, remaining involved (or 'being' a terrorist), and leaving terrorism behind. Despite the ongoing search for a terrorist personality, the most insightful and evidence-based research to date not only illustrates the lack of any identifiable psychopathology in terrorists, but demonstrates how frighteningly 'normal' and unremarkable in psychological terms are those who engage in terrorist activity. By producing a clearer picture of the complex processes that impinge upon the individual terrorist, a different type of terrorist psychology emerges, one which has controversial implications for efforts at countering terrorism in today's world.
This new edition of The Psychology of Terrorism will be essential reading for students of terrorism and political violence, and counterterrorism studies, and recommended for forensic psychology, criminology, international security and IR in general.
'John Horgan’s The Psychology of Terrorism is one of the best applications of a social science discipline (in this case, psychology) to explain the drivers that motivate individuals to become terrorists, function as terrorists, and, in ideal cases, disengage from terrorism. Also included are some of the best treatments in the academic literature on how to define terrorism and conduct academic research on terrorism.' - Foreword Magazine
Preface to New Edition. Preface 1. What is terrorism? 2. Studying Terrorism 3. A Terrorist Mind? 4. Radicalization 5. Involvement 6. Engagement 7. Disengagement 8. Deradicalization 9. Re-Engagement 10. Psychology and Counter-Terrorism
John Horgan is Director, International Center for the Study of Terrorism (ICST)at Penn State University, USA. He is author of The Future of Terrorism (2000, with Max Taylor), The Psychology of Terrorism (2005), and Walking Away from Terrorism (2008). He is also coeditor of the Terrorism Studies Reader, with Kurt Bradock (2011).