Waves of Terrorism Essay

1429 Words Feb 15th, 2014 6 Pages
Terrorism has not just emerged, instead it has evolved over many years and has undergone many and varied cycles in its evolution. The term terrorism is most commonly used to describe actions which are violence based and are used to promote fear in people. (Mannik 2009: 152 – 153) Rapoport (2004) came up with a way of describing the fluctuations over time of terrorism. He was able to separate and describe four distinct periods of time which he referred to as 'waves of terrorism'. (Rapoport 2004 :46 -47) These waves are used as markers through which an understanding can be gleaned of how terrorism goes through changes or cycles. This paper will identify the four waves of terrorism as set out by Rapoport and define the characteristics …show more content…
(Harrow 2008: 5) Rapoport (2004) explains a wave as a 'cycle of activity in a given time period …..characterised by expansion and contraction phases'. (Rapoport 2004 : 47) It functions over a period of time and is capable of change and diversification as and when deemed necessary. (Rapoport 2004 :47)

Each wave relates to approximately one generation and generally promotes one particular ideology. Rapoports four waves are distinguished by historical events globally. (Rapoport 2004: 47) The first wave emerged in Russia in the 1880's lasting approximately forty years and is referred to as the anarchist wave. It was at this point in time that terrorism was viewed as a means of unsettling the status quo of the state and ultimately replacing their ideologies with those of the revolutions. (Laquer 2003: 13) During this wave uprisings occurred due to people becoming impatient with the ruling parties and looking for ways to enact change against the oppression imposed on them. (Mannik 2009: 155 -156) This stage targeted high profile officials and used assassinations as their preferred method . (Laquer 2003:13) It was believed that the only way to achieve changes was through inflicting damage to those in power not to civilians. (Cronin 2004: 35)

The second wave followed and also lasted approximately

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