The Fight against Terrorism

  • Henrik Larsen


‘Terrorism’ is a very politically loaded term. What is understood as an act of terrorism by some is understood as an act of legitimate resistance by others. The chapter will not attempt to put forward a definition of the fight against terrorism in absolute theoretical terms, but rather in more concrete political terms. Measures against terrorism are understood as official measures taken against groups such as the IRA and ETA, but the focus will be on the measures taken against Al Qaeda and similar networks, in particular after 11 September 2001. Since key political actors link this fight to issues such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), crime and failed states, such issues will also be touched upon without passing a judgement on whether they should rightly be part of a ‘war against terrorism’. In a broader sense, then, the chapter deals with the policies towards the new international security agenda, post-11 September.1 Although policies against terrorist groups are not new, the much stronger emphasis on this area post-11 September in terms of a general security threat means that this is very much a policy field in the making. At the same time, more than most of the other areas in this book, it cuts across policy areas and touches on several different policy dimensions.


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Copyright information

© Henrik Larsen 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Larsen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CopenhagenDenmark

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