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Research Report

Global Terrorism:: Multilateral Responses to an Extraordinary Threat

Eric Rosand
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2007
Pages: 26

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
    Terje Rød-Larsen

    The International Peace Academy (IPA) is pleased to introduce a new series of Working Papers within the program Coping with Crisis, Conflict, and Change:The United Nations and Evolving Capacities for Managing Global Crises, a four-year research and policy-facilitation program designed to generate fresh thinking about global crises and capacities for effective prevention and response.

    In this series ofWorking Papers, IPA has asked leading experts to undertake a mapping exercise, presenting an assessment of critical challenges to human and international security. A first group of papers provides a horizontal perspective, examining the intersection of multiple challenges in specific regions of the...

  4. (pp. 1-1)

    In recent years, the traditional tendency to treat nonstate actors that resort to terrorist violence as a domestic issue has given way to an increasing focus on international—and multilateral—responses.¹ Nationalist/separatist terrorist groups such as the Kurdistan Peoples Party (PKK) in Turkey, the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) generated only limited responses at the multilateral level. The emergence of transnational terrorism in the 1970s led to a spate of international law-making to facilitate inter-state cooperation in response to hijacking, hostage-taking and other forms of terrorism. But only with the emergence...

  5. (pp. 1-7)

    The terrorist attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2001 transformed the debate about international responses to terrorism. With global terrorism now at the top of the United States’ agenda, it quickly became a matter of central concern in international institutions, most notably the United Nations.

    Since it was Islamist terrorism—and most significantly, Al Qaeda and affiliated individuals and entities—that centrally occupied the United States, it was—and remains—Islamist terrorism that is a central, if unstated, target of much of the international counter-terrorism activity since September 11. Al Qaeda in fact remains the only...

  6. (pp. 7-17)

    Given the complexity and evolving nature of the threat, as well as the diversity of conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, combating international terrorism requires a comprehensive, multifaceted response at the global, regional, and local levels. To be effective, the response must be enduring and sustainable and include a significant non-military component.

    The overarching challenge in the next few years will be to find ways to sustain the international cooperation that has so far characterized the post-September 11 counterterrorism effort, despite the significant divergence in threat perceptions detailed above. Multilateral institutions have a pivotal role to play here. So...

  7. (pp. 17-19)

    The increasing number of formal and informal multilateral partnerships (e.g., at least seventy multilateral institutions are involved in counterterrorism in one form or another); the lack of cooperation among them; and the adoption of the first-ever global counterterrorism strategy, with signs of a further shift towards the non-military side of counterterrorism, including measures to address terrorism’s underlying conditions; highlight the need for an effective multilateral body at the center of the effort to facilitate coordination.

    The CTC was supposed to be this body. In the five years since it was created, it has produced some modest successes in increasing awareness...

  8. (pp. 20-20)
  9. (pp. 21-21)