publication . Article . 2007

The Human Body as a Terrorist Weapon: Hunger Strikes and Suicide Bombers

Mollica, Marcello; Dingley, James;
Open Access
  • Published: 24 May 2007 Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, volume 30, pages 459-492 (issn: 1057-610X, eissn: 1521-0731, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Informa UK Limited
  • Country: United States
Abstract
This article argues that a major factor in terrorist acts is an appeal to the actor's own community at an emotional and symbolic level, through acts of sacrifice, particularly self-sacrifice. Although other aims also exist, a prime concern is to recall the actor's home audience to the struggle, because the actor regards himself as acting on their behalf. This utilizes the imagery and symbolism of traditional religion, implying a strong communal and non-material impetus to terrorist acts, rather than rational material calculation, that modern Western man finds difficult to comprehend. It also recalls much classical social theory, which emphasized the central role...
Subjects
free text keywords: Law, Social theory, Appeal, Sacrifice, Appeal to emotion, Terrorism, Social psychology, Nationalism, Human body, Psychology, J, JZ
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publication . Article . 2007

The Human Body as a Terrorist Weapon: Hunger Strikes and Suicide Bombers

Mollica, Marcello; Dingley, James;