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Essentials of Terrorism

Essentials of Terrorism
Concepts and Controversies

Fifth Edition
  • Gus Martin - California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA

Other Titles in:
Terrorism | Terrorism

September 2018 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Captivating, concise, and current, Essentials of Terrorism: Concepts and Controversies introduces readers to the modern landscape of domestic and international terrorism. The Fifth Edition of Gus Martin’s renowned text covers key foundational topics and provides a framework for defining terrorism and exploring its history and causes, while also discussing terrorist environments, tactics, targets, and counterterrorism. 

This new edition includes information regarding intelligence, counterterrorism laws, and deprivation theory, as well as new and updated sections discussing mass violence in the United States, narco-terrorism, anti-state dissident terrorism, ISIS, and a new theoretical model for ending terrorist campaigns. The text also examines recent attacks and presents new data, case studies, and photos to show readers the state of terrorism across the globe today. 

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About the Author
Part I. Understanding Terrorism: A Conceptual Review
Chapter 1: Defining Terrorism
Understanding Political Extremism

Formal and Informal Definitions

Objectives and Goals of Terrorism

Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

The Political Violence Matrix

Chapter 2: Historical Perspectives and Ideological Origins
Historical Perspectives on Terrorism

Ideological Origins of Terrorism

September 11, 2001, and the New Terrorism

Chapter 3: Causes of Terrorist Violence
Political Violence as the Fruit of Injustice

Political Violence as Strategic Choice

Moral Justifications for Political Violence

Chapter 4: Terrorist Violence and the Role of the Media
Understanding the Role of the Media

A New Battleground: The War for the Information High Ground

Part II. Terrorist Environments
Chapter 5: Terrorism by the State
Perspectives on Terrorism by Governments

Domestic Terrorism by the State

Terrorism as Foreign Policy

Chapter 6: Terrorism by Dissidents
Perspectives on Violent Dissent

The Practice of Dissident Terrorism

Terrorist Targets and Weapons

Dissidents and the New Terrorism

Chapter 7: Religious Terrorism
Historical Perspectives on Religious Violence

The Practice of Religious Terrorism

Trends and Projections

Chapter 8: International Terrorism
Understanding International Terrorism

International Terrorist Networks

The International Dimension of the New Terrorism

Chapter 9: Domestic Terrorism in the United States
Left-Wing Extremism in the United States

Left-Wing Terrorism in the United States

Right-Wing Extremism in the United States

Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States

Understanding the Persistence of Violent Ideologies in the United States

Part III. The Terrorist Battleground
Chapter 10: Counterterrorism and the War on Terrorism
The Use of Force

Operations Other Than War: Repressive Options

Operations Other Than War: Conciliatory Options

Legalistic Responses

Chapter 11: Homeland Security
Homeland Security in Perspective

Homeland Security in the United States

Civil Liberties and Securing the Homeland

Chapter 12: Future Trends and Projections
What Does the Future Hold?

Revisiting the War on Terrorism

Appendix: Map References


Student Study Site

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  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Exclusive access to various full-text SAGE journal articles support and expand on the concepts presented in the chapters to help develop critical thinking skills.
  • Original videos feature interviews with the author and provide contemporary examples that relate back to the chapter content.
  • Carefully selected web-based video resources feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
  • Multimedia content includes videos that appeal to students with different learning styles.
Instructor Teaching Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Original videos feature interviews with the author to provide students with contemporary examples that relate back to the chapter content.
  • A Microsoft® Word test bank is available containing multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides a diverse range of pre-written options, as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting personalized questions to assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for courses and highlight essential content and features.
  • Exclusive access to various full-text SAGE journal articles that support and expand on the concepts presented in the chapters. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in the course for a robust classroom experience that encourages students to think critically.
  • Multimedia content includes videos that appeal to diverse learners.

“This text is an outstanding resource for an introductory class in terrorism studies. It is well organized and provides a comprehensive review of key issues impacting the study of political violence.”

Robert S. McDonnell
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Essentials of Terrorism is an accessible and engaging text that covers all essential topics with useful pedagogical features.”

John W. King
Baldwin Wallace University

“Useful and good overview. Supplemented with current topics, [it is a] great text to have the students understand the complex topic of terrorism.”

Jeff Schwartz
Rowan University

Good book but looking further. Thanks.

Professor Clyde W. Adkison
Criminal Justice Admin Dept, Middle Tennessee State Univ
September 10, 2019

Excellent Introductory Book

Mr Ernest Pucillo
Homeland Security and Security Management, LONG ISLAND BUSINESS INST
August 10, 2019

Clarence "Gus" A. Martin

C. Augustus “Gus” Martin is Director of the School of Public Service and Justice at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is also a Professor of Criminal Justice Administration, where he regularly teaches a course on the subject of terrorism and extremism. He has served as Associate Vice President for Human Resources Management, Acting Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy, Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Public Administration. He began his academic career as a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs,... More About Author