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The Moral Psychology of Terrorism

Implications for Security

Editor(s): Nathan Lean, Jalil Roshandel

Book Description

Terrorism of the past ten years has been driven by the interface of psychology, morality, faith, religion, and politics. This modern terrorism reflects terrorists’ pursuit of their beliefs and the aggressive promotion of the exclusivity of their world-views at the expense of the lives of those who do not share them. In this sense, acts of terrorism are fueled by arguments of morality and views that are rooted in the psyches and beliefs of terrorists.

Thus, it is critically important to examine the growing phenomenon of terrorism through not only a political lens, but a psychological one as well – where questions about the cognitive mappings of those who are considered terrorists are probed. The examination of the moral psychology of terrorism opens up new insights into the real threats that face the global community.

This important volume brings out that discussion and seeks to understand what motivates people to kill both themselves and innocent bystanders. How can we better understand this tragic human path towards violence? Providing perspectives from several continents and academic disciplines, the editors and contributors of this work move the study of terrorism away from its traditional center in the academic worlds of political science and security studies and present a wide range of perspectives that focus on psychology, philosophy, and questions of morality, linguistics, history, religious studies, and ethics.

Intended for the academic community and the general public alike, these rich presentations and analyses are sure to foster a healthier, more productive, and more effective conversation about terrorism, the minds of terrorists, and how to reach a place where this violent phenomenon is less prevalent.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4470-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4470-5
Date of Publication: 01/04/2013
Pages / Size: 270 / A5
Price: £44.99


Jalil Roshandel is an Associate Professor of Political Science at East Carolina University. His most recent publications include Jihad and International Security (2006), The United States and Iran (2010) and Iran, Israel and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy (2011).

Nathan Lean is currently completing graduate coursework at Georgetown University. He holds an MA in International Studies from East Carolina University, and is the co-author of Iran, Israel and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy and the author of The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims.