'The age of terrorism' and the international political system, 1967-1992
The thesis examines the notion that an age of terrorism began In the late 1960s. It Is argued that this Issue is complicated by the different meanings associated with the term, terrorism. Three main meanings of the term are identified: a normative usage treating terrorism as violence without humanitarian constraints; its association with the lowest level of violent conflict; and a usage that treats terrorism as in practice co-terminus with assaults on the west. An examination of the most common generalisations about terrorism to be found in the literature follows. The use of the term In different contexts is highlighted by case studies of West Germany and Northern Ireland. It is argued that in so far as it is possible to treat the varieties of modern terrorisms as one, they are best seen as a post-colonial phenomenon which drew on the legitimisation of anti-imperialist violence against colonial rule. The reluctance to apply the term, terrorism, to political violence inside Third World countries is considered. The centrality of an international dimension to terrorism is analysed, followed by an examination of International co-operation to control covert violence by small groups that crosses state boundaries. Case studies of the ending of campaigns of violence by small groups are presented to underline the role played by internal group dynamics in terrorism. In conclusion, it is argued that the term, terrorism, is losing its coherence and, partly for that reason, terrorism is unlikely to be seen as a central feature of the international political system in the post-bipolar era.