TERRORISM

Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Panel on Behavioral, Social, and Institutional Issues

Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism

Neil J. Smelser and Faith Mitchell, Editors

Center for Social and Economic Studies

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu



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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences TERRORISM Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences Panel on Behavioral, Social, and Institutional Issues Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism Neil J. Smelser and Faith Mitchell, Editors Center for Social and Economic Studies Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, DC www.nap.edu

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08612-4 Additional copies of this report are available from The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800/624-6242 202/334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) <http://www.nap.edu> Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Suggested citation: National Research Council (2002) Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Panel on Behavioral, Social, and Institutional Issues, Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism. Neil J. Smelser and Faith Mitchell, editors. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy´s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences PANEL ON BEHAVIORAL, SOCIAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES NEIL J. SMELSER (Chair), Department of Sociology (emeritus), University of California, Berkeley ROBERT McCORMICK ADAMS, Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego LISA ANDERSON, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University NAZLI CHOUCRI, Department of Political Science and the Technology and Development Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EUGENE A. HAMMEL, Departments of Anthropology and Demography (emeritus), University of California, Berkeley ARIE W. KRUGLANSKI, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland IRA LAPIDUS, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (emeritus), University of California, Berkeley TIMOTHY McDANIEL, Department of Sociology, University of California PHYLLIS OAKLEY, Career Foreign Service Officer (retired), U.S. Department of State THOMAS C. SCHELLING, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland FAITH MITCHELL, Study Director JANET GARTON, Program Associate BENJAMIN WOOLSEY, Project Assistant

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences Contents     Preface   vii     Executive Summary   1 1   Clearing the Conceptual Air   7     Decoding the Mystery of Terrorism: New or Old, Familiar or Unfamiliar?,   10     Issues of Definition,   13 2   Origins and Contexts of Terrorism   18     Imperialism, Colonialism, and Globalization,   19     Impacts on “Receiving” Societies,   21     Reactions to Impacts,   23     Cultural Context,   25     Statelessness and States,   28     Motivations for Terrorism,   30     Organization of Terrorism: Networks,   34 3   Responses to Terrorism in the United States   37     Anticipation, Prevention, Preparedness, and Warning,   37     Disaster-like Responses to Attacks,   40     Normalization,   43     Political Aspects of Recovery,   45     Economic Aspects of Recovery,   47

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences 4   Recommendations for Research   50     Origins, Characteristics, and Dynamics of Terrorism,Responses to Terrorism,   50   53     References   57     Appendixes     A   Dimensions of Terrorism: Actors, Actions, Consequences Eugene A. Hammel   63 B   Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism   69

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences Preface To stress the salience and urgency ofthenational situation as dictated by contemporary terrorism and to underscore the need for behavioral and social science understandings of that situation are to pronounce the self-evident. Terrorism, already recognized by some as the looming form of international conflict in the late twentieth century, moved dramatically to center stage on September 11, 2001, and promises to occupy national attention for decades. It is also evident that while the scientific, technological, and military aspects are essential parts of understanding and containing terrorism, every aspect of that phenomenon yields human and social dimensions. This report has the objective of bringing behavioral and social science knowledge and understandings to bear on terrorism and the responses to it. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, the presidents of the National Academies, comprising the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering—wrote a letter to President George W. Bush pledging the scientific resources of the nation, as represented in the National Academies, to help contend with the new national crisis. As part of that pledge the Academies established the Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism, which began work immediately and issued a comprehensive report on the relevance of science and technology for defending the nation against terrorist activities. As part of its work the committee spun off eight panels on specialized aspects of terrorism, some of which are preparing their own reports. The group responsible for this report is one of these panels. Two of our panel members served as members of the main committee, and many parts of our report have been incorporated into the master report. However, the report con-

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences tained in these pages was prepared independently of the work of the larger committee. In this report we focus first on the nature and determinants of terrorism itself and, second, on domestic responses to terrorist activity. Under the first heading we take up nettlesome definitional issues, and then—moving from remote to proximate determinants—consider the international, demographic, economic, political, and cultural determinants of terrorism, as well as its motivational and organizational aspects. Under the second heading we bring knowledge about disaster behavior to bear on the topics of preparedness, warning, and short-term responses to terrorist attacks, calling attention to likely longer-term political, economic, and cultural processes of recovery. At the end we present our best sense of the priorities for behavioral and social science research on many aspects of terrorism. The panel included scholars from the disciplines of anthropology, demography, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Its special areas of expertise include the history of Muslim societies, the contemporary Middle East, the politics of the state, revolutionary social movements, deterrence and game theory, the cognitive structure of beliefs, disaster studies, the politics of diplomacy and peacekeeping, and social change. The panel met twice in Washington, DC, on January 13-14 and February 24, 2002. Between the meetings the panel members undertook drafting assignments and exchanged materials and ideas by email. We pooled our general knowledge of relevant topics, read what we deemed as the best in the exploding literature on terrorism, and made use of the face-to-face meetings to synthesize as best we could the extremely diverse strands of knowledge at our disposal. The report that follows represents a solid consensus on the part of the panel. The panel would like to thank the National Research Council staff who supported our work and facilitated the achievement of this ambitious goal: Faith Mitchell, study director; Janet Garton, program associate; and Benjamin Woolsey, project assistant. Erik Smith worked as a consultant with Eugene Hammel on new demographic analysis. Lewis Branscomb, Richard Klausner, and other members of the main committee made helpful comments about the draft and provided other intellectual contributions. The panel is grateful as well to the National Academies for their financial support.

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Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Phillip Heymann, Harvard Law School; Alex Inkeles, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Edward H. Kaplan, School of Management, Yale University; Clark McCauley, Psychology Department, Bryn Mawr College; Henry Riecken, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (emeritus); and Edward Wenk, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Engineering, Public Affairs and Social Management of Technology, University of Washington. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Frosch, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, and Charles Tilly, Departments of Sociology and Political Science, Columbia University. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Neil J. Smelser, Chair Panel on Behavioral, Social, and Institutional Issues

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