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Terrorists, Victims and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and its Consequences

Terrorists, Victims and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and its Consequences

Andrew Silke (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-471-49462-1

Mar 2003

300 pages

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In today's climate, these is a powerful need for a balanced, expert and accessible account of the psychology of terrorists and terrorism.

Written by an expert team of psychologists and psychiatrists, these contributors have direct experience of working with terrorists, victims and those tasked with the enormous responsibility of attempting to combat terrorism.

The first section focuses on terrorists as individuals and as groups and provides a balanced and objective insight into the psychology of terrorists; what their motivations are and what keeps them involved in terrorist groups. The second section explores the huge question of the impact of terrorism; the direct and indirect affect on victims; how societies respond and how political leaders handle the threat and consequences of terrorism. The final section focuses on the question of how to respond to terrorist threat.
  • The most up-to-date account of our understanding of terrorists, their psychology and the impact they have on the world around them
  • Written by leading world experts on terrorist psychology
  • A complete view of terrorism - looks at the terrorists themselves, their victims and society as a whole

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About the Editor.

About the Contributors.

Series Preface.



The Search for the Terrorist Personality (John Horgan).

Becoming a Terrorist (Andrew Silke).

The Psychology of Hostage-Taking (Margaret Wilson).

The Psychology of Cyber-Terrorism (Marc Rogers).

The Psychology of Suicidal Terrorism (Andrew Silke).

Leaving Terrorism Behind: An Individual Perspective (John Horgan).


The Psychological Impact of Isolated Acts of Terrorism (Ginny Sprang).

The Psychological Impact of Protracted Campaigns of Political Violence on Societies (Orla Muldoon).

Victims of Terrorism and the Media (Betty Pfefferbaum).

Examining the Impact of Terrorism on Children (Deborah Browne).


Retaliating Against Terrorism (Andrew Silke).

Terrorism and Imprisonment in Northern Ireland: A Psychological Perspective (Jacqueline Bates-Gaston).

Deterring Terrorists (Karl Seger).


“…highly recommended for its thoughtfulness and depth of scholarship…” (Australian and NZ Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 37, No 6)

“…all the contributions are perceptive…would appeal to anyone interested in the processes underlying terrorism…” (Forensic Update, Jan 2004)