What Is Terrorism,?: What Is Terrorism?

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The question ‘What is terrorism?’ can be answered in a varying number of ways. A variety of scholars have attempted to define the term, each with differences but with more similarities. To define it in its most simple format, it is ‘the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims’ . Wyn Rees defines it as ‘a particular type of action, in which violence is employed for a political purpose. It is conducted by non-state actors against non-combatants, with the aim of creating fear amongst a wider target audience.’ As well as being an action, it also important to understand that terrorism is in fact an ideology that has developed, and different people/states have alternative opinions on what in fact terrorism incorporates. …show more content…
In which terrorism was seen as a rational concept to restore order to France by Maximilien Robespierre. He is quoted as saying ‘Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible’ . To use the term justice would seem unjustifiable in this modern age, but it shows how terrorism has clearly developed and changed from its earlies origins in France in the late 18th century. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where it began, as the definition of terrorism is so broad. Who exactly does terrorism target, the state, or the people, or both. Other scholars have attempted to add subtle differences to the meaning of terrorism, incorporating the impact it is aimed upon having on the public and their emotions, such scholars as Lacquer who says it is ‘the illegitimate use of force to achieve a political objective when innocent people are targeted.’ Another view that coincides with this comes from Reich, who believes that terrorism is ‘a strategy of violence designed to promote the desired outcomes by instilling fear in the public at large.’ It is apparent therefore that there is no real universal definition of terrorism, but is terrorism something that is done always against the state, or can it be done against smaller political groups and civilians? When looking at the very earlies form of terrorism, Robespierres asserted that terrorism it is a form of justice, and indeed many terrorists will believe that this is the case, often wanting to refer to themselves as freedom fighters. This leads us to ask the question is there just one form of terrorism, or are there multiple, and are any of these justifiable or is all terrorism

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