Terrorism, Political Violence, and Extremism
New Psychology to Understand, Face, and Defuse the Threat
by Chris E. Stout, Editor
May 2017, 357pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5192-6
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5193-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, since 2000, terrorism has claimed the lives of about 140,000 people—roughly as many as who died in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

A must-read for psychologists—clinical and academic alike—as well as for political scientists, policy analysts, and others working in the realm of terrorism, political violence, and extremism, this book carefully explores the theories, observations, and approaches of authorities in the field and addresses how and why terrorism has perpetuated for so long.

Terrorism is now a regular topic in the news rather than a rare or an unusual occurrence. The possibility of violent terrorist acts constitutes a legitimate safety concern, regardless of one’s country of residence: no longer can anyone assume that their location is beyond the reach or outside the targeted areas of any number of terrorist groups. Terrorism, Political Violence, and Extremism: New Psychology to Understand, Face, and Defuse the Threat examines why the number of terrorist attacks has greatly increased since the attacks on September 11, 2001 occurred, including well-known events such as the Madrid train bombings (2004), the London Underground bombings of 2005, the San Bernardino and Paris attacks (2015), and countless others, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

Beyond providing a careful and up-to-date assessment of the state of terrorism worldwide, which includes coverage of the religious and political origins of terrorist activities, the book pinpoints less-recognized and rarely studied aspects of terrorism, such as terrorism hysteria, sexuality, shame, and rape. The diverse perspectives within this unified volume are relevant to a breadth of subject areas, such as international psychology, military psychology, political science, political theory, religious studies, military theory, peace studies, military sciences, law enforcement, public health, sociology, anthropology, social work, law, and feminist theory.


  • Addresses how various groups are affected by terrorism, including children, older adults, and, arguably more relevant than ever before, refugees
  • Tackles the perplexing question of why terrorism has remained such a difficult problem to overcome
  • Includes contributions from Islamic subject matter expert, scholar, and author Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshawani, listed among The 500 Most Influential Muslims
  • Serves as appropriate reading for students taking courses in subjects ranging from international psychology, military psychology and theory, political science, and political theory to religious studies, peace studies, military sciences, law enforcement, social work, feminist theory, public health, sociology, and anthropology
Chris E. Stout, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, founding director of the Center for Global Initiatives, vice president of research and data analytics at ATI Holdings, LLC, and on the faculty at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He served as NGO Special Representative to the United Nations, was one of the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders of Tomorrow and Invited Faculty in Davos, and was invited by the Club de Madrid and Safe-Democracy to serve on the Madrid-11 Countering Terrorism Task Force. Stout has published more than 35 books, including two Amazon best sellers; his works have been translated into 8 languages. He has received five humanitarian awards and four additional doctorates (honoris causa) for his work in global health and humanitarian intervention. He also blogs in these areas as a LinkedIn Influencer. He is listed in TED Conferences founder Richard Saul Wurman's "Who's Really Who, 1000: The Most Creative Individuals in America." His website is www.drchrisstout.com.


“(This book) is very timely and leverages the knowledge of experts in the field. The book is also rich with facts and theories from different perspectives, especially psychology. . . . interesting and well-written with creative ideas and supported arguments.” —International Psychology Bulletin, May 1, 2018

"Dr. Stout has compiled a must-read for anyone interested in a beneath-the-surface examination of the psychology of terrorism and extremism. This book explores the topic from a variety of valuable vantage points, which both informs the reader in a complete way and maintains the crucial conviction of the complexity of the subject matter. It is a provocative read and should spur much dialog."—Philip Zimbardo, PhD, is an emeritus professor of psychology at Stanford University. He has authored over 300 publications and 50 books and is most recognized for his landmark study, the Stanford Prison Experiment.

"Political and religious terrorists are increasingly the enemies of our democratic futures. Learning to understand their roots, their motivations, and their power to sway the way in which we live is critical, and this impressive book will be an invaluable tool for those of us who are intent on countering violent extremism."—Mari Fitzduff, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, Heller School, Brandeis University
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