Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings

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Routledge, 2011 - Social Science - 269 pages

Suicide bombing has become a weapon of choice among terrorist groups because of its lethality and ability to cause mayhem and fear. But who carries out these acts, and what motivates them? By undertaking analysis of the information in the most comprehensive suicide terrorism database in the world, Life as a Weaponseeks to question and in turn undermine the common perception that the psychopathology of suicide bombers and their religious beliefs are the principal causes.

Instead, the book presents a cocktail of motivations that drive suicide bombers, and explains how their actions achieve multiple purposes - community approval, political success, liberation of the homeland, personal redemption or honour, refusal to accept subjugation, revenge, anxiety, defiance. Since the configuration of these driving factors is also specifically related to the circumstances of political conflict in each different country, it is only through gaining understanding and knowledge of these conditions that appropriate policies and responses can be developed that will protect the public and counter the scourge of suicide bombings.

Life as a Weaponis a pivotal text in the discussion surrounding suicide bombings, and as such it is of relevance to undergraduate students, postgraduates, and researchers working in areas such as Security Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Terrorism, Criminology and Political Science.

dge of these conditions that appropriate policies and responses can be developed that will protect the public and counter the scourge of suicide bombings.

Life as a Weaponis a pivotal text in the discussion surrounding suicide bombings, and as such it is of relevance to undergraduate students, postgraduates, and researchers working in areas such as Security Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Terrorism, Criminology and Political Science.

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About the author (2011)

Riaz Hassan is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia and Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies National University of Singapore. His research interests include suicide terrorism, housing, and Muslim Societies. His recent books include Faithlines: Muslim Conceptions of Islam and Society (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Inside Muslim Minds (Melbourne University Press, 2008). He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and a member of the Order of Australia.

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