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Technology and terrorism: privatizing public violence

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1 Author(s)
Sloan, S. ; Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK, USA

The possibility that a particularly pernicious form of state organized terrorism, namely the privatization of public violence, may arise is examined. The nature of terrorism is defined, and a case is made for the proposition that contemporary terrorism is functionally different from its antecedents, as a result of a joint revolution in transportation and communication. An increasing blurring of the line between state organized terrorism and the organized terrorism of nonstate actors and the potential alliance between the two are discussed. Counterterrorism as a growth industry is considered, and the dangers inherent in its existence are pointed out. Possible changes in the capabilities and tactics of state terrorism as they relate to the three main interrelated elements of terrorism-violence, psychological impact, and target audience-are addressed.<>

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 2 )