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March 7, 2005

Press Release, March 8 (WG 2)

Thematic Subject Area I: The Causes and Underlying Factors of Terrorism
Working Group 2
Political Explanations

March 8th, the International summit on Democracy and terrorism will host an eleven member panel which will explore the political dimensions of terrorism. Topics to be discussed are the following:

  • The relationship between terrorism and democracy, and under which conditions democracies become vulnerable to terrorism.
  • The degree to which terrorist motivations and aims are political, and to what degree they are just tools for mobilisation.
  • What can be learned from successful and failed peace processes?
  • Can terrorists be negotiated with? If so, which of their demands should be accommodated?
The conclusions of this working group and 16 others will be incorporated into the Agenda of Madrid, which will be published on March 11th, 2005.

Working group members will include:

Working group co-ordinator:

  • Martha Crenshaw (USA), professor of government at Wesleyan University. She has written and edited numerous books on the issue of political terrorism. Her first article, “The Concept of Revolutionary Terrorism,” was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1972.


  • Rogelio Alonso (Spain), co-ordinator of the Unit for the Documentation and Analysis of Terrorism at the University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. Expert on ethno-nationalist terrorism, especially the IRA and ETA. Author of Martar Por Irlanda: El IRA y La Lucha Armada (Alianza 2004).
  • Ronald Crelinsten (Canada), professor of criminology, University of Ottawa. Terrorism researcher for thirty years, an expert on relationships between political protest, violence and dissent, including the role of media. Current research project is entitled The Terrorism-Counterterrorism Nexus.
  • Azzi Mohamed Farid (Algeria), researcher at Oran University, Algeria. Expert on political violence and conflict in Algeria. Current research focuses on ‘Algerian Youth between Alienation and Integration’.
  • Barbara Lethem Ibrahim (Egypt), regional director of the Population Council, Cairo. Advises groups in Jordan, Pakistan, and Iran on national youth research, and is member of a regional working group conducting research on issues related to the Arab family. Recipient of numerous awards.
  • Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Egypt), professor of sociology at the American University, Cairo. Founder and chairman of the Ibn Khaldoun Centre for Development, Egypt. Highly respected human rights activist, who has written extensively on Islam, civil society, and democracy in the Arab world.
  • Fernando Reinares (Spain), professor at the University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. Has written extensively on all aspects of global terrorism. Currently Senior Anti-Terrorism Advisor to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.
  • Ekaterina Stepanova (Russia), heads a research group on the “new” security threats in conflict and post-conflict settings at IMEMO, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Author of The Role of Illicit Drug Business in the Political Economy of Conflicts and Terrorism (Moscow, 2005).
  • Mario Sznajder (Poland-Israel), professor in political science at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Research interests include political violence and transformation in Latin America. Co-author of The Legacy of Human Rights Violations in Southern Congo, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay (Oxford 1999).
  • Leonard Weinberg (USA), professor in political science at the University of Nevada. Has written extensively on right and left-wing terror, as well as the relationship between political activity and terrorism. Co-author of Political Parties and Terrorist Groups (Routledge 2003).
  • Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca (Spain-USA), professor of political science at Yale University. Expert on comparative terrorism, and member of the American Political Science Association’s “Task Force” on Terrorism. Author of many publications on revolutionary and separatist terrorism.
  • Jose Luis Herrero (Spain), director of the FRIDE Foundation, Madrid. Former political advisor to the UN missions in Kosovo, Haiti and Rwanda. Numerous publications on peacekeeping and post-conflict institution building.
  • Ram Manikkalingam (Sri Lanka), special advisor to the Sri Lankan President. Also assistant director of the Global Inclusion Program at the Rockefeller Foundation, who is in charge of organizing the Foundation’s work in the area of peace and security. (External member).

With the collaboration ofSafe Democracy Foundation
Members of the Club de Madrid

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