Making Sense Of Suicide Missions by Diego GambettaMaking Sense Of Suicide Missions by Diego Gambetta

Making Sense Of Suicide Missions

EditorDiego Gambetta

Paperback | October 18, 2006

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Suicide attacks have become the defining act of political violence of our age. From New York City to Baghdad, from Sri Lanka to Israel, few can doubt that they are a pervasive and terrifying feature of an increasing number of violent conflicts. Since 1981, approximately thirty organizationsthroughout the world - some of them secular and others affiliated to radical Islam - have carried out more than 500 suicide missions. Although a tiny fraction of the overall number of guerrilla and terrorist attacks occurring in the same period, the results have proved infinitely more lethal. This book is the first to shed real light on these extraordinary acts, and provide answers to the questions we all ask. Are these the actions of aggressive religious zealots and unbridled, irrational radicals or is there a logic driving those behind them? Are their motivations religious or has Islamprovided a language to express essentially political causes? How can the perpetrators remain so lucidly effective in the face of certain death? And do these disparate attacks have something like a common cause? For more than two years, this team of internationally distinguished scholars has pursued an unprejudiced inquiry, investigating organizers and perpetrators alike of this extraordinary social phenomenon. Close comparisons between a whole range of cases raise challenging further questions: If suicidemissions are so effective, why are they not more common? If killing is what matters, why not stick to 'ordinary' violent means? Or, if dying is what matters, why kill in the process? Making Sense of Suicide Missions contains a wealth of original information and cutting-edge analysis which furthers our understanding of this chilling feature of the contemporary world in radically new and unexpected ways.
Diego Gambetta is at Professor of Sociology and Official Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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Title:Making Sense Of Suicide MissionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.89 inPublished:October 18, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297975

ISBN - 13:9780199297979

Reviews

Table of Contents

Foreword1. Peter Hill: Kamikaze 1943-52. Stephen Hopgood: Tamil Tigers 1987-20023. Luca Ricolfi: Palestinians 1981-20034. Stephen Holmes: Al Qaeda, September 11, 20015. Michael Biggs: Dying Without Killing: Self-Immolations 1963-20026. Stathis Kalyvas and Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca: Killing Without Dying: The Absence of Suicide Missions7. Jon Elster: Motivations and Beliefs in Suicide Missions8. Diego Gambetta: Can We Make Sense of Suicide Missions?References

Editorial Reviews

"The contributions are all of a high quality, asking searching questions of the available evidence."--Foreign Affairs "Gambetta brings together a remarkable group of academics from different disciplines and countries who bring a formidable array of research and analysis to their attempt to make sense of suicide missions. This is an important book, and the best treatment of the subject I've read."--Louise Richardson, Financial Times "Making Sense of Suicide Missions is an enlightening collection of essays, so badly needed in the prevalent mood of misconceptions and half-baked analysis."--The Guardian .,." in a fascinating contribution to the new essay collection Making Sense of Suicide Missions, the Yale political scientist Stathis Kalyvas and a Spanish colleague, Ignacio Sanchez Cuenca, point out that FARC, the Columbian rebel group, once hatched a plan to fly a plane into that country's presidential palace but could find no willing pilot, even after dangling an offer of $2 million for the pilot's family."--Boston Globe "This thoughtful and engrossing book underlines the pointlessness of a rage that is truly self-destructive, even if we may have to continue looking warily on the Tube for a while."--The Evening Standard "A stunning essay on al-Qaeda and 11 September 2001 ...challenging and timely book."--New Statesman "The book effectively balances qualitative, quantitative, and analytic approaches. The case studies are deeply researched, riveting, and compelling. And each is shaped to engage the basic question: Why? To the degree that is possible, the attempts to answer this question are based on rigorous forms of inference and reasoning. The book istherefore a joy to teach from. It should claim the attention of both academics and policy makers."--Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University