Studying the Victims and Perpetrators of Terrorism

What is the connection between victimhood and involvement in terrorism and political violence? What contributions can former perpetrators of violence make in deradicalisation programmes? How can former perperators and the victims of terrorism work together on these matters? The new book by Orla Lynch and CSTPV Lecturer Javier Argomaniz brings together important contributions by scholars whose work has illuminated an under-researched dimension of terrorism to answer these questions. Indeed, while the perpetrators of political violence have been the subject of significant academic research, victims of terrorism have rarely featured in this landscape.


In an effort to capture the vast complexity of terrorism, and to widen the scope of the agenda that informs terrorism research, the book presents a series of analyses that examines the role of the perpetrators, the experience of the victims, the public and media perceptions of both, and given the inherent intricacy of the phenomenon, how we might think about engaging with perpetrators in an effort to prevent further violence. By considering the role of the many actors who are central to our understanding and framing of terrorism and political violence, this book highlights the need to focus on how the interactivity of individuals and contexts have implications for the emergence, maintenance and termination of campaigns of political violence.

This volume also aims to understand not only how former perpetrators and victims can work in preventing violence in a number of contexts but, more broadly, the narratives that support and oppose violence, the construction of victimisation, the politicisation of victimhood, the justifications for violence and the potential for preventing and encouraging desistance from violence. Considering the significance of these issues for the field, this book will be of great interest to both students and researchers of terrorism and political violence.

Orla Lynch is Director of Postgraduate Criminology at University College Cork, Ireland, a fellow with Hedayah, Abu Dhabi, and co-author of The Psychological Processes of Terrorism (2018).

Javier Argomaniz is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews and author of Post–9/11 EU Counter-Terrorism (Routledge, 2011).

Victims and Perpetrators of Terrorism. Exploring Identities, Roles and Narratives is published by Routledge, and is available now.