Terrorism as an academic subject after 9/11: Searching the internet reveals a Stockholm Syndrome trend

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    The 11 September 2001 event was a turning point in the assessment of terrorism as a phenomenon and added a new dimension to the evaluation of terrorism as an academic subject. New academic courses dealing with various aspects of terrorism evolved, mostly in American universities, and more disciplines took pan analyzing different angles of this phenomenon, thus sharpening its interdisciplinary nature. The enhanced interest in terrorism, though, did not change the nature of this subject area, which remained spread among various grand disciplines such as History, Political Science, Sociology, and Religious Studies. A case in point is the New Urban Geography, a new subfield of Geography that deals with urban planning in the setting of the possibility of wide-scale terrorist attack. The general trend of the new academic courses shows signs of the Stockholm Syndrome (an analogy to a person kidnapped by terrorists who comes to identify with his or hers kidnappers) because too many of these courses dealt with a better understanding of terrorists motivations, as well as better understanding of the role of Islam in the world today. Following descriptions of these trends, an attempt is made to create a model of the academic study of terrorism. The closing chapter deals with the dynamics of terrorism studies at the University of Haifa after 9/11, where a gradual growth in the number of courses on terrorism is demonstrated, as compared with the accelerated increase in these courses in the United States.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-59
    Number of pages15
    JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Safety Research
    • Political Science and International Relations


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