Free «Historical, Psychological, and Sociological Explanations of Terrorism» Essay Sample

Terrorism is described as the act of using shocking, unexpected and unlawful force of violence against other individuals in a society. People who are recruited into terrorism associations for along time have been thought to have some sociological and/or psychological characteristics because of several reasons. Evidence from psychiatrists has proved that the idea that terrorists are psychologically disturbed individuals can be true. The well timed execution and detailed planning that is characteristic of these groups however shows a very negative connection with this phenomenon. One major characteristic, though disputed about terrorists from the psychological point of view stands out to be the notion of mental illness in individuals who are involved in this act. Maxwell Taylor, a psychologist, found out that mental illness can be attributed to the violent activities that all types of terrorists possess (O’Connor).

Another major characteristic which was founded by the researcher Russel is that terrorists have a less tie with their families and have a very poor way of socializing with their friends. A research indicated that a greater percentage of those found to be terrorists were found to be bachelors. Another attribute to these terrorists is that most of them were found to come from middle and upper class families. Research indicates that this is because these individuals are often exposed to better education systems and therefore they get to learn more on how to use illegal weapons and equipment. In fact on the basis of education, a research by Hamilton and Russel indicated that most of these individuals are university drop-outs (Hamilton and Russel, 1983).

It is true that terrorists, whether of different race or color, different nationality or country share common psychological and/or sociological characteristics. Although terrorism is not an act of universality, the general consequences of terrorism across the world today are similar. This therefore indicates that there exist common characteristics between such groups. Perhaps for a country or nation to reduce terrorism, there is need to develop ways in which it can develop role socialization and psychological upbringing of individuals.

Factors that causes one to join terrorism

There are many because one people to join organized terrorism organization. Among these factors are the multi casual factors. Unlike psychological factors that are perceived to the major causes of people joining terrorism organizations, political economical. Religious and sociological factors have played a major role in causing people to join terrorism organizations. This has therefore made it hard to define terrorism from one point of view that, it is a psychological phenomenon.

From a political point of view, it can be argued that, the causes of political violence and revolution in general are the same factors that cause terrorism. These factors include ethnic conflicts, religious and ideological conflicts, poverty, modernization stresses, political inequalities, traditions of violence among many other factors. Terrorism can cause by the influences emanating from the environmental factors that are conducive to raise terrorism. These factors may include international, national and sub national factors like the universities where students who are potential terrorist are first introduced to Marxist-Leninist ideology and other revolutionary ideas. Examples of international, national and sub national theories include the Latin-America rural guerilla that pushed the rebels to the cities and Arab armies’ attack of the Palestinians in 1967 that caused the Palestinian to abandon their conventional military solutions and resorted to terrorism attacks solve their problems (Hudson).

The other cause that makes people join terrorism group is because of the organizational, collective decisions that people in particular group decide due to their commonly held beliefs. These particular groups have their own leaders like Osama bin. Laden who heads the Taliban. These leaders can listen to their lieutenants but make the final decisions and give orders. Poverty can also make people join terrorist movement if they feel that there are some economical disparities that might have caused them to b economically poor (Hamilton and Russel, 1983). Religious terrorism has also characterized the modern day terrorism as was quoted by the American secretary of state Warren Christopher when he said that terrorism has been propagated in the name of religion and ethnic identity. This is common among the anarchism, nihilism and revolutionary politics.


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