The Psychology of Terrorism

by Chris E. Stout, ed.


Responding directly to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an outstanding interdisciplinary group of academics, clinicians, and activists from around the world united to produce this clear exploration of terrorism.

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Cover image for The Psychology of Terrorism

December 2002


Pages 1032
Volumes 4
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General
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Responding directly to the events of September 11, 2001, an outstanding interdisciplinary group of academics, clinicians, and activists from around the world united to produce this clear exploration of terrorism. Contributors, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Dr. John E. Mack, present an enormous range of terror-related factors in this important multivolume set. Following a foreword by Professor Klaus Schwab, president and founder of the World Economic Forum, chapters address terror and violence perpetrated by children, compare terrorists to cultists, and separate the fact, fiction, and hysteria surrounding bioterrorism.

Other topics include:
•Historical contexts
•Group dynamics
•Social and behavioral issues
•Psychological and psychopathological issues
•Evolutionary issues
Also presented are global perspectives on issues such as:
•Understanding and empathy
•Bias, prejudice, and racism

Additional subjects include state terrorism, countering international terrorism using perspectives from international psychology, and the role of resilience in terror's aftermath. Forged with a combination of talents and viewpoints rarely seen in the worlds of academia and activism, these volumes advance knowledge and understanding as a framework for considering responses to terrorism.

Table of Contents

SELECTED CHAPTERS FROM THE FOUR VOLUMESFrom Volume One: A Public UnderstandingControlling Political Terrorism: Practicality, not Psychology by William H. ReidThe Psychology of the Terrorist: Behavioral Perspectives by Ruben ArdilaThe Soul of a Terrorist by Sharif AbdullahBioterrorism: Separating Fact, Fiction and Hysteria by William H. ReidLooking Beyond Terrorism by John E. MackFrom Volume Two: Clinical Aspects and ResponsesThe Terror of Torture by J.E. (Hans) Hovens and Boris DrozdekState Terrorism: When the Perpetrator is a Government by Marc Pilisuk and Angela WongThe Retributional Terrorist: Type 4 by Raymond H. HamdenThe Palestinian Suicide Bomber by Rona Fields, Salman Elbedour, and Fadel Abu HeinFrom Volume Three: Theoretical Understandings and PerspectivesPsychological Issues in Understanding Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism by Clark McCauleyThe Unanticipated Consequences of Globalization: Contextualizing Terrorism by Michael J. StevensTackling Terrorism: Making Multilateral Measures More Rapid and Effective by Henry BreedRebirth and Death: The Violent Potential of Apocalyptic Dreams by Benjamin Beit-HallahmiFrom Volume Four: Programs and Practices in Response and PreventionA Community Psychology Perspective on Terrorism: Lessons from South Africa by Craig Higson-SmithTerror and Violence Perpetrated by Children by Trevor StokesPreventing Terrorism: Raising Inclusively Caring Children in the Complex World of the Twenty-First Century by Ervin StaubTerrorist Disaster and War: How Can We Help Our Children? by John E. LeCapitaineAfterword by Harvey Langholtz



This four-volume collection of writings by more than 40 academics, clinicians, thinkers, and activists represents another ambitious attempt to address the causes of terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11. Published under the auspices of The World Economic Forum, and in the Psychological Dimensions to War and Peace series, these volumes offer readers diverse opinions and perspectives in order to generate further thinking on the complex subject of terrorism....these contributions go a long way in expanding readers' general knowledge of politically motivated violence, as well as elucidating the causes and consequences of 9/11. Essential. For those interested in the psychology of political violence--from general readers and undergraduates to faculty, diplomats, and policy makers.—Choice

This set is easily the most thorough treatment of terrorism's complexities on the market today. Masterfully edited....suitable for students interested in true-crime, international affairs, or upper-grade research. It is highly recommended for public and high-school libraries.—VOYA

[P]resents a number of ideas that would have served U.S. legislators weill in dealing with the situation in Iraq....[t]he issues addressed in these four volumes will remain with all of us.—Contemporary Psychology


^IThe Psychology of Terrorism^R, in its four topical versions, provides well written information for interested readers, regardless of their specific area of interest. Dr. Stout, as the architect of the project, is successful in banding together a diverse set of international authors having expertise in clinical, theoretical, and/or activist areas of interest.—Pat DeLeon, Ph.D.^LPast-President of the American Psychological Association

Dr. Stout's series of books will be an essential resource for any practicing clinician, not just to help understand the general fears in populations exposed to terrorism from the experiences in Middle Eastern, European countries and elsewhere in the last several decades, but also to anticipate the ongoing impacts of our new Terror Era in the USA.—Lawrence W. Osborn, M.D.^LThe National Institute of Mental Health

^IThe Psychology of Terrorism^R presents us with crucial thinking and analysis at a critical time in world history. Chris Stout has organized some of the best minds on this topic in a manner that makes the book accessible and useful to a wide array of disciplines, policy makers and practitioners. Dr. Stout's mission of enriching and broadening important social and political debates with insights and knowledge base of Psychology is brought to fruition in this important book.—Michael Horowitz, Ph.D.^LPresident, Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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