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Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict: Ideological and Structural Aspects
By Ekaterina Stepanova
SIPRI Research Report no. 23
ISBN 978-0-19-953355-8 (hardback) 978-0-19-953356-5 (paperback)

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This thought-provoking book challenges the conventional discourse on—and responses to—contemporary terrorism. It examines the synergy between the extremist ideologies and the organizational models of non-state actors that use terrorist means in asymmetrical conflict. This synergy is what makes these terrorist groups so resilient in the face of the counterterrorist efforts of their main opponents—the state and the international system—who are conventionally far more powerful.

The book argues that the high mobilization potential of the supra-national extremist ideology inspired by al-Qaeda cannot be effectively counterbalanced at the global level by either mainstream secular global ideologies or moderate Islam. Instead, it is more likely to be affected and transformed by radical nationalism. Unless the political transformation of violent Islamist movements in specific national contexts is encouraged and the transnational ideology of violent Islamism is ‘nationalized’, it is unlikely to be amenable to external influence or to be destroyed by repression.

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1. Introduction: terrorism and asymmetry
2. Ideological patterns of terrorism: radical nationalism
3. Ideological patterns of terrorism: religious and quasi religious extremism
4. Organizational forms of terrorism at the local and regional levels
5. Organizational forms of the violent Islamist movement at the transnational level
6. Conclusions
Select bibliography

About the author
Dr Ekaterina Stepanova (Russia) has led the SIPRI Armed Conflicts and Conflict Management Project since 2007. She has led a research group on non-traditional security threats at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow, since 2001 and prior to that she worked at the Moscow Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is the author of Rol' narkobiznesa v politekonomii konfliktov i terrorizma [The role of the illicit drug business in the political economy of conflicts and terrorism] (Ves Mir, 2005), Anti-terrorism and Peace-building During and After Conflict, SIPRI Policy Paper no. 2 (2003), and Voenno–grazhdanskie otnosheniya v operatsiyakh nevoennogo tipa [Civil–military relations in operations other than war] (Prava cheloveka, 2001). She serves on the editorial boards of Terrorism and Political Violence and Security Index.

Ordering details

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 978-0-19-953355-8 - hardback
ISBN 978-0-19-953356-5 - paperback
March 2008

This book can be ordered from all good bookshops and online booksellers or directly from OUP

OUP in the UK:
http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199533558 (hardback) http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199533565 (paperback)

OUP in the USA:
http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/?view=usa&ci=9780199533558 (hardback) http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/?view=usa&ci=9780199533565 (paperback)


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