HISTORY – CURRENT AFFAIRS
Nick Sitter The History of Terrorism: From Bakunin to the Islamic State/ Terrorismens historie. Attentat og terrorbekjempelse fra Bakunin til IS
Published by Dreyers Forlag, 2017
In this comprehensive book Nick Sitter explores and assesses 150 years of terrorism against Western states and empires and the counter-terrorism lessons that can be drawn from this experience. Terrorist groups come in many forms and draw on a range of ideologies – from anarchists, Marxist and right wing extremism to nationalism and religion. They differ widely not just in terms of ideology, but also in terms of whether they seek to change the prevailing world order or join it; whether they use terrorism as one of several tactics or use terrorism as their one and only strategy; whether they operate in isolation from society or can draw on broad public support or sympathy; and whether they strike at a narrow set of targets or define the entire civilian population as a legitimate target for political violence.
The book explores and assesses different kinds of terrorism, including nationalist, extremist and religiously motivated political violence over the last 150 years. The author analyses nationalist campaigns, left and right wing extremism, and terrorism against secular regimes with a focus on Islamist terrorism in the 1980s and the emergence of Al Qaeda and ISIS. He also discusses terrorism as a strategy, and how different counter-terrorism strategies have dealt with ongoing threats. Most European political leaders are caught between the political imperative to be seen to respond quickly and forcefully to terrorism and the counter-terrorist imperative of developing a robust, long-term strategy for containing terrorism. The book then draw on lessons from the past to assess and evaluate the present terrorist threat in Europe, the USA and the Middle East, and appropriate responses to terrorism.
Nick Sitter has written an important reference book about the origin of the terrorism, terrorists’ different motifs and goals, and advice about how liberal democracies can develop strategies for defeating the current global political Islam terrorism.
Nick Sitter (b. 1969 is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Law and Governance at the BI Norwegian Business School; and Professor of Public Policy at Central European University. He is also Research Associate at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was Head the CEU Department of Public Policy from 2008 to 2011, and Associate Dean for the BI political economy programme 2004-2014. Sitter now runs BI’s security program. He has previously written about terrorism and political violence in many international journals. His books and edited volumes include A Liberal Actor in A Realist World: The EU Regulatory State and the Global Political Economy of Energy (Oxford UP, 2015, co-authored with A. Goldthau), and Energy Union: Europe’s New Liberal Mercantilism? (Palgrave 2017, co-edited with A. Goldthau and S. S. Andersen).