Leiden Safety and Security Blog

New introduction to terrorism

New introduction to terrorism

Terrorism continues to inspire fear with lethal attacks occurring on a daily basis in certain parts of the world embroiled in struggle and conflict. Also, attacks in more peaceful places like Paris and Brussels manage to dominate the headlines for weeks. Time and again, people are left with many fundamental questions unanswered, such as: what do terrorists hope to achieve with such attacks? Do they succeed in doing so? And what can we do about it?

In their new book (in Dutch), Edwin Bakker and Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn try to answer some of the most basic but perhaps also most difficult questions about the phenomenon: what is terrorism, why do people resort to terrorism and how do they think they can achieve their goals? They also look into counterterrorism, discussing topics like fear and impact management, and response to incidents such as the recent attacks in Paris.

This book is part of the series “Elementaire Deeltjes” by Amsterdam University Press (similar to the English series Very Short Introductions by Oxford University Press). As the book is tailored to a Dutch audience (and written in Dutch), one of the chapters specifically focuses on terrorism in the Netherlands, starting from the 1970s when the country was confronted with several attacks. Well-known examples are the hijackings and hostage takings by groups of South-Moluccans. The authorities’ response to those attacks was recently subject of an investigation based on new archival research commissioned by two Dutch ministries. Less well-known examples include the hostage taking in the French Embassy in the Hague in 1974 by the Japanese Red Army.

On May 26, the authors will present their book in bookshop “Paagman” in The Hague, which is open to the public. More information and registration can be found on the website of Paagman. The book costs 9,95 euro and is for sale on the website of Amsterdam University Press.

See the video (in Dutch) below in which the authors explain the goals and contents of the book

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