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May 05 , 2010

Terrorism and the Politics of Social Change

A Durkheimian Analysis


Terrorism and political violence have invariably accompanied the progressive modernization of states; a socio-cultural reaction to the problems of social change and development. To understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to consider the nature of traditional society and how it differs from modernity.

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Starting with a basic history of modern terrorism, James Dingley uses a Durkheimian sociological framework to dissect the role of social relations, culture and religion in impelling men and women to defend their socio-cultural context with violence against the challenge of external forces. Placing emphasis on a historical and social understanding of violence and key issues such as nationalism, religion, science, the Enlightenment and Romanticism for understanding terrorism in all its forms, this book allows for a more critical examination of terrorism as a response to changes in the organization and cultural goals in a society. It is a decisive contribution to our understanding of the political and social relevance of terrorism as we know and experience it today.

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