The nature and goals of terrorist organizations have changed profoundly since the Cold War standoff among the U.S., Soviet, and Chinese superpowers gave way to the current "polyplex" global system, in which the old rules of international engagement have been shattered by a new struggle for power among established states, non-state actors, and emerging nations. In this confusing state of global disorder, terrorist organizations that are privately funded and highly flexible have become capable of carrying out incredibly destructive attacks anywhere in the world in support of a wide array of political, religious, and ethnic causes.
This groundbreaking book examines the evolution of terrorism in the context of the new global disorder. Richard M. Pearlstein categorizes three generations of terrorist organizations and shows how each arose in response to the global conditions of its time. Focusing extensively on today's transnational (i.e., privately funded and internationally operating) terrorist organizations, he devotes thorough attention to the two most virulent types: ethnoterrorism and radical Islamic terrorism. He also discusses the terrorist race for weapons of mass destruction and the types of attacks, including cyberterrorism, that are likely to occur in coming years. Pearlstein concludes with a thought-provoking assessment of the many efforts to combat transnational terrorism in the post-September 11 period.
Subjects: Political Science
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