Vittori: The Problem Of Defining Terrorism In International Law

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Saul, B. (2006). Defining terrorism in international law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Saul explores the problem of defining terrorism in international law. Since the 1920’s, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by the international community to define and criminalize terrorism. To address this problem, Saul begins by analyzing the rationales for defining and criminalizing terrorism based on four major categories: human rights law, threat to democracy, international security, and political violence. After reviewing these issues, he examines potential justifications for terrorist violence and looks at past efforts to define terrorism. Saul illustrates through a comprehensive review of international treaties that the international …show more content…
Terrorist groups have adopted strategies to fund and resource their activities with varying results, from those that are living day-to-day, to successful terrorist groups, like Al Qaeda, who are part of multinational corporations. As this is an area of research on terrorism that has been sorely neglected, Vittori specifically chooses to focus on how terrorist groups acquire financing and resources to sustain themselves. Throughout the book, Vittori provides useful insights into the process of globalization that supports evolving terrorist groups, and creates a theoretical frame that is superior to currently held notions of terrorist institutions. He suggests that terrorism financing has evolved over the years and has developed into what he terms the “seven category typology of terrorist resourcing”. He illustrates these classifications using case studies for each category, based on actual examples of terrorism that have occurred throughout history. Vittori concludes with the note that there is no way to truly stop terrorism resourcing and the solution would require an in-depth analysis of each individual terrorist group in order to uncover their specific

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