Two books by Walter Laqueur, Terrorism (London: Little, Brown, 1977) and The Terrorism Reader (London: Wildwood House, 1979) provide a concise historical background; his more recent The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) is more prolix and more alarmist, with an extensive bibliographical essay—whose only major lacuna is, oddly, the topic of ‘fanaticism’, so loudly announced in the book’s title but sketchily treated in the text. Grant Wardlaw, Political Terrorism: Theory, Tactics and Countermeasures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, 1990) is a judicious analysis, while Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (London: Victor Gollancz, 1998) is a useful survey from the Rand Corporation perspective, hard-nosed and unsentimental. For a more radical perspective, see Richard Falk, Revolutionaries and Functionaries: The Dual Face of Terrorism (New York: Dutton, 1988). Louise Richardson, What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Terrorist Threat (London: John Murray, 2006), and Richard English, Terrorism: How to Respond (Oxford University Press, 2009) thoughtfully analyse historical experience. In the spate of books following 9/11, one or two are still worth reading, such as Strobe Talbott and Nayan Chanda (eds.), The Age of Terror (New York: Basic Books, 2001). Cindy C. Combs, Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997) is a college textbook that reveals much conventional wisdom on the subject.
Most writing on terror is workmanlike rather than brilliant, but an important exception is Eugene V. Walter’s essay in historical anthropology, Terror and Resistance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969). Most conservative writers avoid the subject of state terror (the extensive section headed ‘state terrorism’ in Laqueur’s New Terrorism, for instance, proves to be all about ‘state-sponsored’ terror—a completely different subject—on the part of the USSR, Libya, Iran, and Iraq), so much of the commentary comes from a radical perspective: a fair example is William D. Perdue, Terrorism and the State (New York: Praeger, 1989). Alexander George (ed.), Western State Terrorism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) contains several challenging essays, including a fierce critique of ‘The Discipline of Terrorology’ by the editor, who notes that his prime subject, Paul Wilkinson, ‘unlike many in this area, is not a raving madman’. There is a comparative study of two Latin American cases in David Pion-Berlin, The Ideology of State Terror: Economic Doctrine and Political Repression in Argentina and Peru (Boulder, CO: L. Rienner, 1989).
The classic study of Russian populism is Franco Venturi, Roots of Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1960). Zeev Ivianski, Individual Terror: Theory and Practice (Tel Aviv: ha-Kibbutz ha-Meuchad, 1977) is a lucid analysis. The contribution of women to revolutionary violence in Tsarist Russia is evoked in Vera Broido, Apostles into Terrorists (New York: Viking Press, 1977). For the anarchists in general, see George Woodcock, Anarchism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962), and in particular Martin A. Miller, Kropotkin (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1976). Martha Crenshaw’s study of the FLN in Algeria, Revolutionary Terrorism (Stanford: Hoover Institute Press, 1978) is an exemplary fusion of particular analysis with a wide theoretical vision. More idiosyncratic, but interesting, is Richard E. Rubinstein, Alchemists of Revolution: Terrorism in the Modern World (New York: Basic Books, 1987). A densely written but rewarding analysis of small-group terrorists in Italy and Germany can be found in Donatella della Porta, Social Movements, Political Violence and the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
On the IRA, M. L. R. Smith, Fighting for Ireland? The Military Strategy of the Irish Republican Movement (London: Routledge, 1995) presents a level-headed academic examination; Patrick Bishop and Eamon Mallie, The Provisional IRA (London: Heineman, 1987) and Peter Taylor, Provos: The IRA and Sinn Fein (London: Bloomsbury, 1997) are excellent journalists’ investigations.
ETA is, unsurprisingly, less well covered in English, but see John Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism (London: Routledge, 1988) and Joseba Zulaika, Basque Violence (Reno, NV: University of Nevada, 1988).
The logic and methods of Zionist groups are illuminated in Yehuda Bauer, From Diplomacy to Resistance (New York: Atheneum, 1973); on the Lehi, see Joseph Heller, The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics and Terror 1940–1949 (London: Frank Cass, 1995); on the Irgun, Menachem Begin’s memoir The Revolt (London: W. H. Allen, 1979) is obligatory reading, while there is an absorbing account of their most famous operation in Thurston Clarke, By Blood and Fire: The Attack on the King David Hotel (New York: Putnam, 1981). Less gripping than Begin, but useful, is General George Grivas, Guerrilla Warfare and EOKA’s Struggle (London: Longmans, 1964).
There is a consistently worthwhile collection of essays in Mark Juergensmeyer (ed.), Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World (London: Frank Cass, 1992), and a longer study of ‘religious nationalism’ by Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). Juergensmeyer’s recent Terrorism in the Mind of God (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000) engages with violence in three religious traditions, though it leaves hanging the question whether God is actor or audience in this terror process. There is a wide overview in Madawi al-Rasheed and Marat Shterin (eds.), Dying for Faith: Religiously Motivated Violence in the Contemporary World (London: Tauris, 2009). Jihadist thinking is lucidly addressed in Malise Ruthven, A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America (London: Granta Books, 2002) and Mary R. Habeck, Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006). Fred Halliday offers a typically sharp essay on ‘terrorisms in historical perspective’, in Nation and Religion in the Middle East (London: Saqi Books, 2000). For a remarkable rethinking, see Faisal Devji, The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics (London: Hurst, 2008). Of five illuminating volumes on fundamentalism by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, see especially Fundamentalisms Comprehended (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995). Martin Kramer provides a forensic analysis of Hezbollah in The Moral Logic of Hizbullah (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 1987), and Ehud Sprinzak of Gush Emunim in Brother Against Brother (New York: Free Press, 1999). There are several interesting attempts to analyse suicide attacks, for instance Diego Gambetta (ed.), Making Sense of Suicide Missions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). There are contrasting interpretations in Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terror (New York: Random House, 2005) and Mia Bloom, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005). For the social networks, see Marc Sageman, Leaderless Jihad (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press, 2008).
John B. Wolf, Antiterrorist Initiatives (New York: Plenum Press, 1989) sets out the menu; Alex P. Schmid and Ronald D. Crelinsten (eds.), Western Responses to Terrorism (London: Frank Cass, 1993) collects a number of helpful essays on both regional and theoretical issues. Benjamin Netanyahu (ed.), Terrorism: How the West Can Win (London: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986) is a famous right-wing call to arms, whose loaded assumptions are loudly signalled in its title. The call to abandon conventional restraints is amplified in Alan Dershowitz, Why Terrorism Works (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002). There is a forensic examination of American antiterrorist methods before 9/11 in John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (London: Pluto Press, 1999), and a remarkable personal account in Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (London: Simon & Schuster, 2004). Later ‘war on terror’ strategy is assessed in Seth Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (New York: Norton, 2009). Christopher Hewitt, The Effectiveness of Anti-Terrorist Policies (Langham, MD: University Press of America, 1984) is a rare attempt to find ways of measuring effects. For a pioneering example of ‘critical terrorism studies’, see Richard Jackson, Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counter-Terrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005).
On the issue of democracy, Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism Versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response (London: Routledge, 2011) offers a commonsensical overview, though producing little evidence that terrorism threatens democracy as such. See also David A. Charters (ed.), The Deadly Sin of Terrorism: Its Effect on Democracy and Civil Liberty in Six Countries (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994). On the media in particular, see Alex P. Schmid and Janny de Graaf, Violence as Communication: Insurgent Terrorism and the Western News Media (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).