From the list on terrorism and why it matters.
Who am I?
I was born and spent my childhood living under a tyrannical regime that indiscriminately used violence against innocent civilians. Such cruelty made a lasting impact on me. For the past thirty-two years, I have been teaching philosophy at Seton Hall University. Given my childhood experiences, I have chosen to write on issues related to social and political philosophy and applied ethics. After the catastrophic event of 9/11, I wondered about the motivations, explanations, justifications, or excuses for this kind of unprecedented act of war against civilians. I have spent a great deal of my research exploring the relationship between justified acts of war and terrorist acts.
Vicente's book list on terrorism and why it matters
Why did Vicente love this book?
This is a well-argued and illuminating book to understand the complexity of terrorism. Primoratz focuses mostly on what we understand by the term “terrorism” and some of its most important characteristics. In doing so, he offers a definition of terrorism that meshes with our ordinary use of it. So, for him, terrorism is the deliberate use of violence against innocent people to intimidate and coerce others into doing what they otherwise would not do.
One of the virtues of his definition is that it avoids the double standard that policymakers presuppose when they define terrorism solely as the deliberate use of violence by non-state actors. Such a narrow definition of terrorism allows for representatives of states, be they tyrannical or democratic, to engage in vicious violence against innocent noncombatants without assuming moral or legal responsibility for their despicable violent acts that are no less terroristic, sometimes even more so, than…