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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Terrorism research resources: General Overview

General Sources


Cronin, A. K. (2009). How terrorism ends: Understanding the decline and demise of terrorist campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Stacks - HV6431 .C766 2009 

The book discusses famous cases from the late 20th and first decade of the 21st, including terrorist attacks in Russia and Chechnya, Britain, Ireland, and Turkey. Each chapter focuses on one of the six ending patterns the author has identified: decapitation, negotiations, success, failure, repression, and reorientation. Understanding these paradigms, the author posits, is critical to developing effective anti-terrorist strategies.

Hamm, M.S. (2007). Terrorism as crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and beyond. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Stacks - HV6431 .H364 2007 and e-book

Hamm studies terrorism using two criminology approaches – “routine activity perspective” and “social learning theory.”

Martin, Gus. (2008). Essentials of terrorism: Concepts and controversies. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Stacks - HV6431 .M366 2008 

This introductory text focuses on terrorism in the post-WWII period. Each section addresses a different aspect. Part I defines terrorism, discusses its history, and examines its causes. Part II explores various forms of terrorism, from state terror to global terrorism. Part III discusses the terrorist trade (terrorist groups' use of information technology and media, as well as other common terrorist tactics), counterterrorism and related security measures. The book ends with a critical assessment of contemporary trends and possible future developments. 

Mockaitis, T. R. (2007). The “new” terrorism: Myths and reality. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International.

Stacks - HV6431 .M628 2007 

This book corrects and refines popular understanding of terrorism. Each chapter starts with a summary of the misconceptions and moves on to dispel them. Chapters focus on different aspects of terrorism: theoretical analysis of the phenomenon, a historical overview, discussion of prevalent characteristics. A section of the book is dedicated to Al-Qaeda, terrorist threat, and responses to terrorism. The last chapter discusses U.S. strategic approach. The author suggests that “new” terrorism has a long history and that the global reach of terrorism isn't a recent phenomenon either.

Smith, P.J. (2008). The terrorism ahead: Confronting transnational violence in the twenty-first century. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Stacks - HV6431 .S6415 2008 and e-book 

The book defines terrorism and covers a wide range of topics such as global politics, information technology, religion, suicide bombers, and financing.

History of Terrorism

Carr, C. (2002). The lessons of terror: A history of warfare against civilians: Why it has always failed, and why it will fail again. New York, NY: Random House.  

Stacks - HV 6431 .C38 2002 and e-book

The book covers the history of international terrorism.  Rather than analyzing terrorism through the lenses of political science and sociology, the book approaches it from the perspective of military history.

Chaliand, G. & Blin, A. (Eds.). (2007). The history of terrorism: From antiquity to Al Qaeda. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Stacks - HV6431 .H5713 2007 

Readings in this anthology cover terrorism acts from prehistoric times to 9/11, as well as America’s anti-terrorism activities. They also provide a working definition of terrorism.  Some of them cover terrorism in different regions of the world, including Southeast Asia and Russia.

Laqueur, W. (2001). A history of terrorism. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Stacks - HV 6431 .L348 2001

The first chapter discusses the origins of terrorism, but the other sections are arranged by topic rather than by chronology. Terrorism's doctrine, sociology, interpretations, and specific late 20th-century examples are some of the issues the book covers. In addition, the book identifies the conditions under which terrorism was likely to take place and the circumstances which made terrorist actions either a success or failure. In the concluding section, the author corrects common misconceptions about terrorism.

Lutz, J.M. and Lutz, B.J. (2005). Terrorism: Origins and evolution. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Stacks - HV6431 .L87 2005

The book argues that terrorism is not a recent phenomenon and instead claims that it has existed for the last 2,000 years. Accordingly, the chapters cover terrorism starting in antiquity and propose a classification and causes of terrorism.

Root Causes of Terrorism


Krueger, A.B. (2007). What makes a terrorist? Economics and the roots of terrorism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Stacks - HV6431 .K72 2007

This book examines the economic and political circumstances leading an individual to become a member of a terrorist organization.

Post, J.M. (2007). The mind of the terrorist: The psychology of terrorism from the IRA to al-Qaeda. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Stacks - HV6431 P669 2007 and e-book

The book focuses on political terrorism and social psychology, arguing that there are different forms of terrorism and terrorist psychologies. It presents a cross-section of terrorist groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Smelser, N.J (2007). The faces of terrorism: Social and psychological dimensions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Stacks - HV6431 .S63 2007 

The book discusses “insurgent and international forms” of terrorism, as well as ideologies promoting terrorism, recruitment strategies and the motivations of individual terrorists.