What is it about?

This paper uses literature to map out the relationship between governments and their citizens, particularly in times of conflict. When there is a fracture in this relationship, it can impel individuals to seek belonging and security elsewhere, including in the community of terrorist actors. This paper concludes with an understanding that cycles of violence, both in the civilian realm and involving the state, are a leading contributor to the development and vitality of terrorist networks.

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Why is it important?

This paper is important as it does not look at ending global terrorist violence, but rather at the beginnings of it and the appeal terrorist networks have outside of ideology and religion. The paper seeks to understand the developments from the beginnings of individual choice to join, and thus better understand what steps can be taken to stem the growth of these networks.


This paper seems but a tiny drop in a huge bucket when it comes to understanding global violence. This topic seems to haunt me as it is ultimately about individual traumas and individual choices, but with great impact and weighty consequences. It may seem trite, but as one trauma perpetrated by a handful of state actors on one individual can create an ever widening ripple of violence, I cannot help but wonder if global peace is viable. Yet, one hopes.

Melanie R Wattenbarger
Bishop Gorman High School

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: When Person Becomes Problem, Interventions, May 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/1369801x.2018.1476039.
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