What is terror? What are its roots and its results -- and what part does it play in human experience and history? This volume offers a number of timely and original anthropological insights into the ways in which acts of terror -- and reactions to those acts -- impact on the lives of virtually everyone in the world today, as perpetrators, victims or witnesses. As the contributors to this volume demonstrate, what we have come to regard as acts of terror -- whether politically motivated, or state-sanctioned -- have assumed many different forms and provoked widely differing responses throughout the world. At a deeper level, the contributors explore the work of the imagination in extreme contexts of danger, such as those of terror and terrorism. By stressing the role of the imagination, and its role in amplifying the effects of experience, this collection brings together a coherent set of analyses that offer innovative and unexpected ways of understanding a major global problem of contemporary life.
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The editors, Andrew Strathern and Pamela Stewart, set out the aim of this collection of essays. They go on to define 'terror', 'terrorism', and 'terrorist'. There is a certain world wide sameness to police terrorism 'abduction; detention without trial; no records kept of arrest or detention; torture and extrajudicial execution, the latter covering both deaths in custody and killings in false encounters... These cases show that terror was essentially about having no redress either through the courts or through persons occupying positions of influence. (Rene Wadlow, Transnational Perspectives)
timely, sophisticated and original (Hastings Donnan, Queen’s Belfast)
Dr Andrew Strathern is Mellon Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA
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