The Essential Reference Guide
by Colin P. Clarke, Editor
May 2018, 347pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5628-0
$94, 79€, A135
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5629-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Terrorism poses a bigger threat to global security now than it has at any other time in history.

This reference is essential reading for anyone attempting to understand modern terrorism by studying the arc of terrorism throughout history, from anarchists to Al Qaeda, ISIS, and beyond.

As the rise of ISIS demonstrates, terrorist groups continue to destabilize vital regions around the world. This book features a series of introductory essays addressing how terrorism has evolved, spanning centuries to focus ultimately on the advent of modern terrorism, which has taken place from 1968 to the present. It discusses the emerging challenges presented by the proliferation of violent non-state actors, including Al Qaeda and ISIS. In addition, it explores exactly what has motivated terrorists and speculates as to how terrorism may continue to evolve.

The core of Terrorism: The Essential Reference Guide comprises A–Z entries on terrorist organizations, major terrorist attacks, and prominent terrorist leaders. The work concludes with a carefully selected group of primary source documents essential to understanding the contemporary terrorist landscape and a detailed timeline that will help readers to place significant terrorism-related events in their proper context.


  • Provides readers with an overview of how terrorism has changed over time and what new threats may be on the horizon
  • Analyzes counterterrorism policies and what emerging trends should be considered to more effectively counter the threat posed by international terrorism
  • Offers a sweeping tour of terrorist groups; their tactics, techniques, and procedures; and their ideologies, motivations, and objectives
  • Provides an A–Z review of "who's who" in the annals of modern terrorism
Colin P. Clarke, PhD, is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where his research focuses on terrorism and insurgency. At RAND, Clarke has helped to direct studies on ISIS financing, lessons learned from the history of all insurgencies since the end of World War II, and the future of terrorism and of transnational organized crime, both for the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in support of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Clarke is author of Terrorism, Inc.: The Financing of Terrorism, Insurgency, and Irregular Warfare.


"This single volume offers both academic and public libraries an excellent overview of global terrorism in the modern age. . . . This is an excellent resource for students interested in the impact terrorism has had on the modern world."—Booklist, August 27, 2018

"Clark effectively captures how the scope, characteristics, and nature of terrorism have changed in the past 50 years. VERDICT General readers and students at any level will find this a solid resource."—Library Journal, September 1, 2018

"[A]n excellent resource about the dynamically evolving reality of terrorism. . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, September 1, 2018

"[T]his volume provides a respectable overview of the progression and characteristics of terroristic activity which will be of value to undergraduates through faculty."—ARBA, October 9, 2018
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