Stephen Vertigans - Robert Gordon University
Despite the surge of interest in terrorism, social scientific attempts to understand and explain why diverse groups of people with different aims and methods become involved in this form of political violence are limited. This paper seeks to reposition sociological contributions and explores processes of terrorism which both glamourised and demonised groups share. It will be argued that the processes can be traced from the historical roots of particular societies and communities through to the stages at which members join, remain and disengage. The paper concludes with an outline of what all this might mean for approaches to counter terrorism.
Professor Stephen Vertigans is Head of School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. He has published widely on political violence, Islamic movements and forms of social responsibility.
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