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Psychological and Criminological Understanding of Terrorism: Theories and Models

Marchment, Z; Gill, P; (2020) Psychological and Criminological Understanding of Terrorism: Theories and Models. In: Ireland, C and Lewis, M and Lopez, A and Ireland, J, (eds.) The Handbook of Collective Violence: Current Developments and Understanding. (pp. 100-111). Routledge: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Terrorism studies began as a niche area of enquiry in the early 1970s within history, political science and sociology. Terrorism studies, as a whole, is becoming increasingly more empirically and quantitatively oriented after years of questionable data and science. Multiple papers have attempted to use psychoanalytical theories to explain the cause of terrorist behaviour. A. Kaplan wrote that terrorism is a response to poor self-esteem, used by an individual to counter impulses of self-contempt. Few studies have empirically tested traditional criminological theories such as anomie, strain, disorganization, or control approaches in a terrorism context. Traditional criminology seeks to identify and explain why individuals engage in criminal activity, with a focus on sociological, psychological and developmental perspectives. The rational choice perspective has been useful in understanding political violence including terrorism and literature consistently supports the presumption that terrorists are rational actors.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Psychological and Criminological Understanding of Terrorism: Theories and Models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9780429197420
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429197420
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108923
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