The Fight for Legitimacy
Democracy vs. Terrorism
by Cindy R. Jebb, P. H. Liotta, Thomas Sherlock, Ruth Margolies Beitler
July 2006, 200pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99189-0
$61, £47, 54€, A84
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08365-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Demonstrates what democratic regimes have done and can do to build legitimacy among their people to combat terrorism.

Terrorism cannot be treated as a monolithic threat. Moreover, as much as we may wish to focus on the terror tactics and terrorist means, we cannot overlook the ends. In fact, good policy can only be crafted with an understanding of the terrorist strategy; that is, how terrorists integrate their means to secure their goals, given their perception of the security environment. The groups covered in this book change and evolve. While their governments must take aggressive actions to secure their populations against attacks, those governments that recognize the real grievances can simultaneously take action that addresses those grievances. This two-pronged approach simultaneously bolsters state legitimacy across the ethnic and majority populations, while demonstrating state effectiveness regarding insecurity. The authors argue that the best way for states to win legitimacy vis-a-vis terrorists is by adhering to liberal democratic values, cooperating with other states, and applying prudent counterterrorist tactics.

Inter-state cooperation, which affects domestic and foreign policies, requires some convergence of political cultures among those cooperating states. This book begins by analyzing five hotspot situations and their regional effects: the Basques in Spain, the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, the Kurds in Turkey, the Chechens and Russia; and the Palestinians, Israel, and a future Palestinian state. These cases shed some light on how we should understand, characterize, and categorize terrorism, and they provide insights into the concepts of political legitimacy, liberal democracy, political culture, and political community. As the United States assesses its homeland defense posture, it must resist any temptation to weaken its liberal democratic values, and, as a superpower, it must encourage other states to adhere to liberal democratic values as well. Liberal democracy is a security imperative in today’s global security environment.


"Four political scientists, three with the US Military Academy at West Point, analyze five terrorist threats against transitional democracies: the Basques in Spain, Kurds in Turkey, Albanians in Macedonia, Chechnya, and Palestine."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2006

"With their nuance approach and careful analysis, the authors provide much-needed practical guidance on how the fight against terrorism and democratisation can become mutually reinforcing. Particularly as democracy is widely viewed as a tool against terrorism, this book is not only important reading but also offers uniquely constructive and policy-oriented insight on the issue."—Wayne A. Downing, General, USA (Retired), Chair, Combating Terrorism Center, Department of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy

"Terrorism remains one of the great scourges of our time and will remain so unless its root causes are destroyed. By using a comparative context with five different cases, this important study reveals the impact of unique regional, cultural, social, and political dynamics on states that are facing the twin pressures of terrorism and long-standing social and political grievances. Although this work points to the complex and often dangerous nature of politics in emerging democracies, it also argues that the potential costs of avoiding democratization are far greater in terms of forsaking our values and weakening our long-term security. This position deserves our closest attention and consideration."—General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the United States Military Academy, NBC News National Security Analyst

"This is a very timely and pertinent study that delves into the all-important question of the challenge of global terrorism to transitional democracies in different regional-cultural contexts. Lucidly written, well researched, and comparatively framed, the book provides a valuable insight into the challenges facing the new democracies in containing the threat of terrorism. It is essential reading for scholars, policy makers, and students of global terrorism."—Mahmud A. Faksh, Professor of Political Science, University of Southern Maine

"The Fight for Legitimacy is an immensely timely and important book. Through a series of key historical case studies the authors empirically demonstrate how effectively countering terrorism is as much about addressing popular grievances and establishing governmental legitimacy as it is about killing and capturing terrorists. The scholarship and trenchant analysis evident in The Fight for Legitimacy establish a solid foundation for building a genuinely synergistic strategy with which to defeat terrorism and encourage viable democratic and responsive governance."—Bruce Hoffman, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, author of Inside Terrorism

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


• Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.