Understanding Terrorism in South Asia: Beyond Statist Discourses

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Imtiaz Ahmed
Manohar Publishers & Distributors, Jan 1, 2006 - Political violence - 418 pages
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Colombo Terrorism is now an over-defined concept with the state, intellectuals, dissenters, and anti-state activists constantly battling out its meaning. "While analysing terrorism the authors of this volume have tried to highlight the following contentions. First, both state and non-state actors are culpable when it comes to reproducing terrorism, although as a policy the state was the first to institutionalise it. Second, the colonial state was notorious when it came to reproducing terrorism, not merely for channelling its coercive machineries but for institutionalising terrorism as a matter of state policy. Third, non-state terrorism during the colonial era remained qualitatively different from the post-colonial era mainly for the practice of keeping out civil society from influencing state policy. Fourth, states policy of counter-terrorism proved more counter productive in tackling non-state terrorism. Fifth, modern weapons technology has virtually re conceptualised terrorism, not only nationally but also internationally. Sixth, while the state resorted to terrorism mainly for containing the power of dissenting subalterns, the latter also through acts of terrorism found convenient to project its grievances against the state. Seventh, misgovernance of the state, marginality of communities, and national deprivation, all contribute directly to the reproduction of non-state terrorism. Finally, globalisation has provided fresh impetus to terrorism in terms of international networks and the supply of materials. Published in association with Regional Centre for Strategic Studies.

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Colonial State Terror and
The State and the Limits of CounterTerrorism

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