10 Pages, Grade: 70
Terrorism is an instrument of political change through which fear is used to achieve political goals. The common discourse surrounding terrorism and terrorists portrays them as groups of mentally ill extremists who irrationally attack people for inexplicable and unjustifiable reasons. Fearmongering politicians refer to terrorists as “madmen” and the media ask questions like “are terrorists insane?” Although, this is not the case as in most cases terrorists are in fact rational actors and “humans who think like we do” but choose to use terrorist tactics to engage in a politically motivated armed struggle. The question that has yet to see a conclusive answer is whether these rational actors who undertake terrorism are engaging in an effective strategy to gain political change.
This essay will assert that terrorism is an effective strategy but only under certain conditions. The essay will first address the definition of terrorism and the logic in choosing terrorism as a strategy before addressing what effective terrorism is and briefly addressing the issue of the overemphasis of the effectiveness of terrorism as a strategy through propaganda.
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