Terrorismology

Updated: Mar 11

By Professor Mario Arturo Ruiz Estrada, Center of Latin American Studies (CLAS). University of Malaya.



Abstract The Terrorismology will be a new research field that includes different academic disciplines together such as economics, sociology, politics, history, geography, religion, philosophy, technology, sociology, finances, military, engineering, and pure sciences simultaneously to study, evaluate, and generate policies to accouter any type of terrorism. This new academic discipline attempts to help in identified the causes and effects of terrorism systematically. Finally, the Terrorismology will encourage any researcher or policy maker to use different academic disciplines coherently to study and evaluate deeply terrorism as a whole.

Keywords: Terrorism, Violence of Economics, Terrorismology, Policy Modeling


1. Introduction

The rationale of Terrorismology revolves around the creation of a new research field as the most effective research tool to understand terrorism as a whole. The main motivation behind the creation of Terrorismology is to study, evaluate, and policies to accouter terrorism evolved so far in applied different research techniques and theoretical frameworks to develop new type of research approach to facilitate the study of terrorism, as well as violence and criminal activities. Thereby, the mission of Terrorismology is to offer academics, researchers and policy maker’s an alternative research field approach for the research and teaching-learning of terrorism from as a whole. Hence, this alternative research field is offer a group of alternative research methodologies, theories, and techniques to evaluate terrorism studies consistently. The following new research field is presented: a general definition, classification, and techniques of evaluation.


Firstly, this document is interested to present a definition of terrorism according to Waciorski (1939): “Terrorism is a method of action by which an agent tends to produce terror in order to impose his domination.” Subsequently, few authors disagree in unified a single and general definition that authors can agree in content and form about this deep definition. However, to consolidate and build a stronger definition of terrorism, firstly we need it to understand and identify our concept of terror that according to this research paper. We define terror as a critical, emotional, psychological, physical, anxiety, vulnerability behavior of a large number of masses under certain event(s) of violence made by armed individual or armed groups to control the civil society systematically.” In fact, this research paper define terrorism as any action of violence by individuals or armed groups to dominate and control (natural or nonnatural) resources from any civil society anywhere and anytime.”


Research leading to this paper shows a strong link between theories of terrorism and the development of methods and techniques of analysis applied on the study of terrorism. In the 1930’s, for example, we can mention two documents that dabble in the study of terrorism such as the politics of terrorism by Waciorsk (1939) and the concept of revolutionary terrorism by Martha Crenshaw Hutchinson (1972) were developed as a result of some observations and abstractions to generate the first basic theoretical framework of terrorism. These two documents generate a huge impact and interest in the study of terrorism academically until our days.


However, we would classify the study of terrorism into two phases. The first phase is the pure descriptive analysis. It is supported by simple descriptive historical and legal analysis with a simple descriptive and narrative terrorist events using some tables, line graphs, and maps. All these documents are based on superficial analysis of causalities and material damages from any terrorist attack through a specific period of time. The main objective of the pure descriptive analysis is to observe the behavior of terrorism based on a general explanation of military events, at the same time, the explanation of these terrorist attacks attach historical and legal aspects subsequently.


The second phase in the study of terrorism will be called the “systematic scientific analysis”. The systematic scientific analysis in the study of terrorism features by new theories, methodologies, and techniques to evaluate terrorism from a pure scientific perspective. According to many authors who first explored the merits of the systematic scientific analysis for the study of terrorism was Roberta Senechal de la Roche. She did this through the application of sociological research approach on the case of 9/11 attacks that she introduced. Her argument is based on the argument that without a useful definition of terrorism, a theory of the subject is not even possible. This is a case of the use of systematic scientific analysis in the study of terrorism open a new way to understand this complex phenomenon from a global perspective.


In the 21th century the use and application of the systematic scientific analysis among experts in terrorism were often based on sophisticated research techniques introduced during the development of new quantitative and qualitative models of research. In particular, the data collection and analysis models, statistical techniques and models, qualitative research, theoretical frameworks, and multidisciplinary academic approaches started to be employed by experts in terrorism in constructing their analysis and research during that time. In addition, the incorporation of new technologies such as computers and internet were also a part of the complex terrorism research. Consequently, the application of the data collection and analysis models, statistical techniques and models, qualitative research, theoretical frameworks, and multidisciplinary academic approaches can be seen in the development of the following researchers: Dunkan (2009), Bakker (2012), Wojciechowski, (2017), Meierrieks & Gries (2013), Bowie (2017), Krieger & Meierrieks (2011)., Bahgat & Medina (2013)., Glasgow (2011), Ruiz Estrada and Koutronas (2016).


The rapid development of the systematic scientific analysis has been facilitated by high technology and sophisticated analysis instruments such as the electronic calculator and the computer. The development of analysis instruments in the study of terrorism took place into two stages. The first stage involved the “the basic computational tools”, where electronic calculators were used to compute basic mathematical expressions. This research paper place between the 1960’s and 1970’s. The second stage called “the advanced computational tools” took place in the middle of the 1980’s. This is when high speed and storage-capacity computers using sophisticated software were introduced for the first time. The use of sophisticated software enables easy information management, application of difficult simulations as well as the calculation and evaluation of terrorism efficiently. The analysis instruments undoubtedly contributed substantially to the development and research in terrorism. Therefore, high computational instruments, backed by sophisticated hardware and software, are utilized to measure the cost of terrorism with a high accuracy. In fact, the pure descriptive analysis and systematic scientific analysis can be categorized according to analytical tools and techniques of analysis. In terms of research, these two methodologies are either descriptive or scientific. The pure descriptive analysis shows arbitrary information that is used to observe the historical data behavior from a simple perspective. On the other hand, the systematic scientific analysis is available to generate time-series graphs, cross-section graphs and scatter diagrams to show the trends and relationships between two or more variables (Ruiz Estrada, 2011; Ruiz Estrada and Yap, 2013; Ruiz Estrada and Park, 2018).


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Suggested Citation:

Ruiz Estrada, Mario Arturo, Terrorismology (January 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3526714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3526714


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