The Causes and Underlying Factors of TerrorismTo be effective in overcoming terrorism, we need to understand why it occurs. This is not because we empathise with the terrorists or because we want to give in to their demands, but simply because any effective strategy against terrorism requires knowing what motivates this form of violence against innocent civilians.
June 8, 2005
The Club de Madrid is happy to announce the publication of The Madrid Summit Working Paper Series.
In the months leading up to the Madrid Summit, more than two hundred of the world’s leading scholars and expert practitioners explored the issues of democracy, terrorism and security in an unparalleled process of scholarly debate. There discussions were conducted through a system of password-protected web-logs, and concluded on the first day of the summit.
Each working group issued a final paper of recommendations on which the contributions of The Madrid Summit Working Paper Series are based.
The Madrid Summit Working Paper Series consists of three volumes:
- Volume I – The Causes of Terrorism> – includes contributions on the psychological roots of terrorism, political explanations, economic factors, religion, and culture. [PDF file, 728 KB]
- Volume II – Confronting Terrorism – deals with policing, intelligence, military responses, terrorist finance, and science and technology. [PDF file, 728 KB]
- Volume III – Towards a Democratic Response – addresses the role of international institutions, legal responses, democracy promotion, human rights and civil society. [PDF file, 748 KB]
March 10, 2005The first part of the Summit closed with a plenary in which the conclusions from each of the working groups were presented by their coordinators. They took on the responsibility of analyzing the terrorist phenomenon from all its possible aspects, with the aim of offering the widest possible explanation. Actually, there were also many common points of view making it possible to come close to a consensus on a concrete definition of terrorism. The Secretary General of the Club of Madrid, Kim Campbell emphasized the fact that this work had been done by 200 experts from all over the world.
Full information, complete audio, transcription and photos: Plenary: Preliminary Conclusions of the Working Groups
February 2, 2005
Political Terrorism In American Versus European Films
POLITICAL TERRORISM: THE SWORD OF GIDEONPolitical terrorism is carried out for a reason. The reason usually bears political, ideological or social meaning and orientation. In their effort to condemn terrorism, many analysts and policy-makers often neglect the observation that the perpetrators of such deeds always have a goal and a designated target. The ultimate objective is bringing about a political change; the prospective target is whoever stands in the way of change, or is responsible for the deplorable status quo. The indiscriminate character of modern terrorism, as opposed to, for example, the selective nature of 19 th century terrorism1, is explained by the distinction between two types of victims: the innocent, or the immediate one and the ultimate one.
By Samuel Peleg
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Terrorism has been situated - and thereby implicitly also defined - in various contexts such as crime, politics, war, revolution, propaganda and religion. Depending on which framework one chooses, certain aspects of terrorism get exposed while others are placed ‘outside the picture’ if only one framework is utilised. In this chapter each of these perspectives is discussed at various levels of depth. At the end of the chapter, selected social science definitions and definitions of terrorism by Member States and international organisations are listed as appendices.
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January 27, 2005
This article explores the nature of links between terrorism and trafficking in illicit narcotic drugs. It discusses some of the empirical evidence on the simultaneous presence of armed conflict, including the terrorist variety, and the cultivation, processing and trafficking of narcotic drugs. While some authors postulate close links - and even convergence - between terrorist groups and organized crime groups, the author of this article is more skeptical about the nature and extent of this connection. He points out both similarities and differences between these two types of organizations and also explores the possible reasons which might tempt - and restrain - groups of one type to establishing connections with groups of a significantly different mindset. He finds that the “in-house” development of organized crime activities by terrorist organizations is a more imminent problem than a close alliance or convergence of organized crime and terrorist organizations. Consequently, he recommends that the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime be used to prevent terrorist organizations from acquiring the financial resources needed to launch and maintain terrorist campaigns. At the same time he is skeptical about the use of the concept of “narco-terrorism”. Its implication, the fusing of the “war on drugs “and the “war on terror,” might do a disservice to both.
by Alex Schmid
January 11, 2005
To be effective in overcoming terrorism, we need to understand why it occurs. This is not because we empathise with the terrorists or because we want to give in to their demands, but simply because any effective strategy against terrorism requires knowing what motivates this form of violence against innocent civilians.