April Essay Dialogue: Is Terrorism a Form of Activism? The Role of Terrorism in Social Change

What is the relationship between terrorism and social movements? Can terrorism be conceptualized as a movement tactic? Are suicide bombings, mass suicides, and other actions commonly associated with terrorism also forms of activism/contentious action? If so, do our theoretical tools for analyzing social movements work well for understanding terrorism? If not, why not, and what might some alternative perspectives be?

In March, the social movements journal Mobilization produced a special issue focusing on terrorism, publishing articles that begin to address some of these pressing questions. For our April dialogue, the editors of Mobilizing Ideas invited other scholars of terrorism and political violence to continue the conversation started in Mobilization‘s special issue.

We thank our list of distinguished scholars who contributed to the first round of essays for this dialogue:

Robert Brym, University of Toronto (essay)
Erin Miller and Gary LaFree, University of Maryland (essay)
Will Moore, Florida State University (essay)
Ziad Munson, Lehigh University (essay)
Anthony Oberschall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (essay)
Robert White, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis (essay)
Joseph Young, American University (essay)

In mid April, we will launch a second round of essays for this dialogue, including contributions from Victor Asal, Donatella Della Porta, Jeff Goodwin, and Craig Jenkins.

Enjoy engaging with these insightful essays and please contribute to the debate by posting your opinions in the comments.

Editors in Chief,

Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Dan Myers

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