The Study Of Terrorism By Richard Jackson, Lee Jarvis, Jereon Gunning, And Marie Breen Smyth

988 Words4 Pages
The study of terrorism is a growing field, primarily due to the world’s interest in the subject matter. Although death by terrorist attack is rare in the United States, as common as death by asteroid or comet (Jackson 2011: 132-133), many citizens view it as a primary concern that threatens the nation. Because of the world’s fear of terrorism, it has gained a huge budget of its own and has become a primary topic/focus. Terrorism: A Critical Introduction, written by Richard Jackson, Lee Jarvis, Jereon Gunning, and Marie Breen-Smyth, examines the orthodox study of terrorism. While analyzing the orthodox scholarship they find and discuss a few key issues. Their critique includes methods/research, emphasis on non-state actors, Western…show more content…
Scholars who study subjects such as anthropology, sociology, and history say primary research is both “possible and necessary for gaining an in-depth, richly textured and nuanced understanding of the subject” (Jackson 2011: 32) and “terrorism cannot be fully understood outside of the historical, political, social and cultural context in which it occurs” (Jackson 2011: 33). Terrorism cannot thrive as a field of study without primary sources “straight from the horse’s mouth’. Another critique brought about by Jackson is that orthodox terrorism research contains both political and ideological bias’. Research seems to only focus on the conflict with Western states and left-winged terrorist groups, and after 9/11 the main focus became Islamic terrorism. The field neglects to study groups such as right-winged terrorist and state terrorism. Jackson talks about how “the claim to academic objectivity and the failure to acknowledge the politics involved in determining which groups are considered ‘terrorist’ functions as a deeper kind of ideological bias because it obscures the political values which determine who to study and how to study them” (Jackson 2011: 17), this sort of bias is a big deal because it shapes what we get to learn about terrorism. Not including all forms of terrorism creates misleading perspectives, which is how stereotypes that say certain people/religious groups are more incline to be

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