Criminal Justice Paper on Defining Terrorism
- What is terrorism, and why is it so hard to define terrorism?
The all-embracing definition of terrorism that has evolved over the years and widely accepted globally is that it entails knowingly causing fear among targeted individuals with the purpose of controlling them or maintaining such control where it has been established. Defining terrorism is a longstanding challenging owing to the fact that definition an art that various over time, circumstances and geopolitical and social factors. One of the fundamental challenges in finding an all-embracing definition of terrorism is individual or state perception of what constitutes terrorism. This has led to widespread inconsistencies in its definition. In addition, technological development and general societal development have continuously revolutionized what constitutes terrorism. This has led to the evolution of the term to encompass such aspects as cyberterrorism and rape.
- Why is it necessary to do so?
Defining terrorism offers a platform upon which various conflicting ideologies, philosophies and semantics used in the definition can be debated. A debate offers an opportunity for consensus building on an all-embracing definition that ensures that various facets of terrorism are factored in. With majority of bases involved in the definition covered, it is possible to evolve the definition to realign with changing times and technological and general societal developments. This enables us to cope with acts of terrorism effectively because we are to comprehend it. Comprehension extends beyond definition; it encompasses different forms of terrorism and their effects. In addition, a definition allows for mapping out actions to be taken to tackle terrorism. With low degree of irreconcilable antagonism, it is possible to tackle controversial aspects of terrorism including those involving states.
- What are important issues to consider when determining whether or not an action constitutes terrorism?
In determining whether an action constitutes terrorism or not, it is imperative to comprehend its magnitude. The magnitude of a terroristic act determines its ability to horrify people and instill a sense of fear in them. It also determines the longevity of such feelings which are aimed at controlling or maintaining control over target individuals. The execution of the action must also be considered as this determines its ability to shock and instill fear. Generally, the magnitude and execution of any terroristic act determine the longevity of the horrific caused and the number of individuals impacted.
- What are some of the definitions provided?
One of the definitions is that it entails extreme political coercion with the view of using fear and terror to influence them. This definition focuses on the purpose of the terroristic act. Based on such definition, terroristic acts are aimed at deterring and/or correcting targeted individuals with the view of controlling them and exercising political authority. Terrorism has also been defined as hate crime.
- What did you like/not like about the article?
One of the aspects of the paper that I liked is the objective manner in which covers the topic. The author highlights different viewpoints on terrorism. This gives credence to the argument that defining terrorism is challenging and debatable. Moreover, the author gives a very insightful background on the contentious nature of defining terms. This allows the author to easily introduce the topic and take the readers along with them. The article is also well referenced. The author cites sources from different backgrounds and timelines. This adds to credibility and validity of the arguments. However, for an article that focuses on the artistic nature of definitions it does not effectively give clear alternative definitions of terrorism. The definitions are not brought out clearly throughout the article. It only gives one clear definition of terrorism, which is subjective, academic and rudimentary.