What is terrorism? Essay

What is terrorism?, 482 words essay example

Essay Topic: terrorism

The literature review will seek to examine existing material in the field of terrorism and how integration of migrants has help European governments in counter-terrorism policies and programmes. Andrew Silke has monitor developments in the terrorism literature and was of the opinion that in the five years after 9/11 attack, more books were published on terrorism than in the previous five decades. At one stage a new book on terrorism was being published in English every six hours (Silke, 2008, 28).
Given the need for selection, this literature review will elect to focus on three core issues. First, some primary sources from key figures in European Integration in recent decades will be examined. This will be followed by a discussion of academic literature within terrorism studies. Second, it is necessary to examine the far more limited literature concerning counter-terrorism policies and programmes of some European governments in these campaigns and the literature on the roles of EU in anti-terrorism fight. The overview of the literature will serve to give some indications as to the intrinsic importance of integration of migrants to European communities as part of European government policies and programmes in anti-terrorism. Some definitions will have to be considered first.
Integration as Jaret explains refers to a process whereby individuals interact as equals at all institutional levels through removal of discriminatory barriers and colour bars that divided and demeaned them (Jaret, 1995 45). Under the mechanisms of integration, migrants and minorities ought to become integral part of the society despite their cultural differences, providing that their membership is based on mutual understanding of the overarching loyalty to the state and its civic institutions. As reiterated by Fleras, in terms of cohesion, it is essential that 'integration is defined subsequently in terms of loyalty, participation, and adaptation' (Fleras, 2009 45). Thus, integration ought to enable migrants and minorities in terms of their organisational and cultural associations, whilst also providing them with the benefits of citizenship.
The definition of 'terrorism', and who is deemed to be a 'terrorist', continues to be subject to much debate and controversy. Many have put forward their own understandings, only to be refuted by others. Thus, 'there is no universally accepted definition of terrorism. It remains the subject of continuing debate in international bodies' (Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C., 2007 6). In fact, research has found the existence of over 100 definitions of the term 'terrorism' (see Schmid and Jongman, 1988 Laqueur, 1999).
Many argue that it is virtually impossible to reach a mutually accepted definition of the term (Kruglanski and Fishman, 2009 Taylor, 2010 Weinberg et al., 2004 Schmid, 1984), especially across disciplines and in different situations (i.e. within policy use or in an academic context). This has led Laqueur (1999 6) to conclude that the 'only general characteristic generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence'. In a similar way, Richardson (2000) explains that the most commonly accepted characteristic of the term is the negative connotation it incorporates.

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