Contentious and Contemporary Issues in the Study of Terrorism

Society for Terrorism Research

9th Annual International Conference

September 10-11, 2015

Birmingham City University
Birmingham, England

The goal of the conference was to highlight ongoing and emerging academic research in terrorism and counter-terrorism; promote collaboration between academia, industry and counter-terrorism practitioners; and explore new ways of translating the results of research on terrorism for multiple audiences, agencies and communities.

Opening Keynote Presenter:
Distinguished Speaker Dr. Tore Bjørgo
Professor at the Norwegian Police University College and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

Counterterrorism as Crime Prevention: A Holistic Approach
Within democratic societies, counter-terrorism is almost exclusively about crime prevention. A broad and holistic approach to preventing terrorism can be based on nine preventive mechanisms: Building normative barriers against terrorism, reducing radicalization and recruitment, deterrence, disruption, incapacitation, protecting vulnerable targets, reducing benefits to terrorists, reducing harm, and facilitating disengagement from terrorism. Counter-terrorist policies which are only based on a narrow range of repressive mechanisms and military measures tend to become overly heavy-handed, producing serious negative side-effects which serve to enhance the problem rather than reducing it. A more holistic approach, making use of the entire range of preventive mechanisms, may lighten the impact of the “hard” measures by relying more on the impact of the “softer” and more positive measures to build moral barriers, reduce recruitment, and facilitate exit from terrorist movements.