The Changing Meaning of Terrorism

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Halsey, Brian
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While terrorism is both a prevalent issue in the United States and worldwide, the United Nations, an organization binding countries around the world, has still not defined the term. There has been a mild attempt to define boundaries in which certain violent acts fall under this term, yet the understanding of the term is still very broad. The goal of this project is to better define what this phenomenon is and how we can use historical examples to help refine a definition and its implications. The project will foremost establish a basic understanding of the way terrorism is interpreted through orthodox, critical, and radical theories. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence compiles a wide array of works from scholars around the world providing insight into these theories. This piece of work, among others, will be complemented with statistical evidence researched through The Global Terrorism database at the University of Maryland, The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, along with the United Nations Action to Counter Terrorism. The theories and evidence will be applied to historical events of the past decade in nations around the world, and a definition, or rather a lack there of, is established.