Contending with Terrorism

From International Security Readers

Contending with Terrorism

Roots, Strategies, and Responses

Edited by Michael E. Brown, Owen R. Coté, Jr., Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller

Experts explore the sources of contemporary terrorism, what terrorists want, and how the United States and other countries should respond.
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Experts explore the sources of contemporary terrorism, what terrorists want, and how the United States and other countries should respond.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world's powerless. They consider the strategies and motivations of terrorists, offering contending perspectives on whether or not terrorists can be said to achieve their goals; explore different responses to the threat of terrorism, discussing such topics as how the United States can work more effectively with its allies; and contemplate the future of al-Qaida, asking if its networked structure is an asset or a liability.

The essays in Contending with Terrorism address some of the central topics in the analysis of contemporary terrorism. They promise to guide future policy and inspire further research into one of most important security issues of the twenty-first century.

ContributorsMax Abrahms, Daniel Byman, Erica Chenoweth, Audrey Kurth Cronin, Renée de Nevers, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, Hillel Frisch, Calvert Jones, Andrew Kydd, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Elizabeth McClellan, Nicholas Miller, Assaf Moghadam, Michael Mousseau, Rysia Murphy, William Rose, Paul Staniland, Robert Trager, Barbara Walter, Dessislava Zagorcheva


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262514644 462 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Michael E. Brown

Michael E. Brown is Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Owen R. Coté, Jr.

Owen Coté is Associate Director of the MIT Security Studies Program and Editor of the journal International Security.

Sean M. Lynn-Jones

Sean M. Lynn-Jones is Editor of International Security, the International Security Program's quarterly journal. He is also series editor of the Belfer Center Studies in International Security, the Program's book series that is published by MIT Press.

Steven E. Miller

Steven E. Miller is director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center.


  • It is hard to be stimulating and instructive on a subject that has held as much attention as has terrorism for a decade and more. But the essays in this volume combine those characteristics for the benefit of students and experts alike. The reader will come away with valuable new insights and perspectives.

    Philip B. Heymann

    James Barr Ames Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, author of Terrorism, Freedom, and Security

  • This collection of compelling analyses of the causes of extremist violence, terrorist strategies, and concepts for countering terrorism will be of great value to both nonspecialists and students seeking incisive introductions to these vexing issues and to officials looking for creative policy options.

    Stephen J. Flanagan

    Henry A. Kissinger Chair in International Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Co-editor of Strategic Challenges: America's Global Security Agenda