The challenge in defining “terrorism” is agreeing on a basis for judging when the use of violence (directed at whom, by whom, and for what purposes) is justified; as a result, the modern definition of terrorism is inherently contentious. The use of violence to attain political goals is prevalent among both state and non-state actors.

A section in UN General Assembly Resolution 49/60, titled “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism” (approved on December 9, 1994), defines terrorism as follows: Criminal acts intended or calculated to instill fear in the general public, a group of people, or a single person for political reasons are unjustifiable in any circumstance, regardless of the political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious, or other considerations invoked to justify them.

Criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or the taking of hostages, with the intent to provoke a state of terror in the general public or a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population, or compel a government or an international organization to do so, are defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004). Terrorism as defined by a UN panel on March 17, 2005, is any act “designed to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants to intimidate a population or pressure a government or an international organization to conduct or refrain from doing any act.”

United Kingdom of Great Britain The Terrorism Act of 2000 United Kingdom defines terrorism as an act “intended seriously to tamper with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system,” with no requirement for violence.

Terrorism, according to the FBI, is the use of unlawful force or violence against people or property to frighten or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any sector thereof, to achieve political or social goals.

Other theories over the causes of terrorism include:

Deprivation and inequality perceptions, particularly among culturally defined groups. This can lead to civil unrest, with terrorism as one of the possible outcomes. Terrorism is a kind of social control from below, with attacks aimed at targets associated with the central authority or a superior group.

Ideological terrorism is encouraged by a lack of political legitimacy and continuity, as well as a lack of integration for the political margins. Ethnic variety exacerbates the possibility.

Terrorism in one country can spread to other countries. By boosting agenda framing, increasing lethality, and broadening the international dimension of terrorism, the mass media can impact its patterns.

The link between intra-societal violence and instability is strengthened by a skewed gender balance and a high share of unmarried males. Young unmarried men are primarily responsible for political and criminal violence.

There are times when terrorist violence can be used to sway public opinion and resources. When peace accords are reached, radical coalition members renew and escalate hostilities to undermine trust and resist compromise, reclaiming the initiative and avoiding marginalization.

As a proxy conflict develops, hegemony in the international system by one or two actors will result in a high level of transnational anti-systematic terrorism. As a result, terrorism may be viewed as a reaction to globalization and modernization.

Societies that are more exposed to terrorism:

  • Societies with inadequate state systems are poor. These countries are more vulnerable to civil wars than wealthier countries, increasing the risk of terrorism.
  • Rather than democratic or authoritarian regimes, states are in democratic transition. Transnational terrorism is more prevalent in semi-authoritarian governments.
  • As a result of modernity, societal changes are occurring. As a result, the circumstances for terrorism are being created through mobility, communication, and a wide range of targets and audiences.

States that are weak and collapsed and contribute to international terrorism. Terrorist reasons can be found in current or previous wars. Armed conflicts can also aid in the spread of transnational terrorism.

You will need to be familiar with the five types of terrorism.

  • Terrorism is sponsored by a state or government, which comprises terrorist activities perpetrated by a state or government.
  • Terrorist groups that have rebelled against their government, known as dissent terrorism.
  • Terrorists, as well as the Left and Right, are ideologically based groups.
  • Religious terrorism, which refers to terrorist organizations that are primarily motivated by religion;
  • Terrorism is used to aid in crime and criminal profit, also known as criminal terrorism.