(Mis)Labeling Terrorist Organizations: Violent Non-State Actors and their Variegated Modes of Warfare

July 8, 2021, 06:15 - 07:45 p.m.

Terrorist organizations are presumed to specialize in the planning and execution of acts of terrorism, but to what extent do “terrorist groups” actually rely on terrorism? To address this question, Prof. Dr. Assaf Moghadam examines the relative use of terrorism vis-à-vis other modes of violence among 776 groups listed as “terrorist organizations” in the Global Terrorism Database from 1970 to 2018. The study provides an empirical foundation in support of scholarly trends that refrain from adopting the “terrorist” label and instead rely on more value-neutral terms to describe violent non-state actors. Such trends, we argue, harken back to the way terrorism was understood under the insurgency paradigm prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s.




Prof. Dr. Xuewu Gu
Professor for International Relations and
Director of the Center for Global Studies,
University of Bonn


Lecture & following Discussion:
Prof. Dr. Assaf Moghadam
Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya


Prof. Dr. Wolfram Hilz
Professor for Political Science and
Directir of the Center for Advanced Security,
Strategic and Integration Studies, University of Bonn

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In cooperation with the Fachschaft Politik & Soziologie.

This event was held in English.

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