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OSINT Report: Definitions and Causes of Terrorism

OSINT Report 1/2011

OSINT Report 1/2011

Since it is often argued that one man’s “freedom fighter” may well be another man’s “terrorist”, defining terrorism becomes much more than a semantic or normative challenge, but a major legal and political concern. A workable legal and political definition of terrorism is required in order to understand its nature and to counter it efficiently.

The ISN’s new report provides a brief insight into the prevalent approaches to defining and conceptualizing terrorism. It suggests that despite the ongoing intense public debate and academic discourse on the theoretical framework, some largely uncontested and customary conceptual and practical features of terrorism can be derived from the re-examination of contemporary conflict studies and international law.

Florian Schaurer: Definitions and Causes of Terrorism, OSINT Report 1/2011, ISN, ETH Zürich, May 2011

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