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American Academy of Political and Social Science A Sociopsychiatric Interpretation of Terrorism Author(s): Franco Ferracuti Reviewedp . , 1982), pp. 129-140 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1043617 . Accessed: 04/05/2012 14:40 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates y our acce p tance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Sage Publications, Inc. and American Academy of Political and Social Science are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. http://www.jstor.org " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">

American Academy of Political and Social Science

A Sociopsychiatric Interpretation of Terrorism Author(s): Franco Ferracuti Reviewed work(s):

Source: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 463,

International Terrorism (Sep., 1982), pp. 129-140

Accessed: 04/05/2012 14:40

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

American Academy of Political and Social Science A Sociopsychiatric Interpretation of Terrorism Author(s): Franco Ferracuti Reviewedp . , 1982), pp. 129-140 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1043617 . Accessed: 04/05/2012 14:40 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates y our acce p tance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Sage Publications, Inc. and American Academy of Political and Social Science are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. http://www.jstor.org " id="pdf-obj-0-46" src="pdf-obj-0-46.jpg">

Sage Publications, Inc. and American Academy of Political and Social Science are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

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ANNALS,

AAPSS,

463,

September

1982

A Sociopsychiatric Interpretation of Terrorism

By FRANCO FERRACUTI

ABSTRACT:Definitions

of terrorism

are imprecise and difficult.

Even the units of analysis are not uniform, and existing typologies are merely descriptive. Forecasting, however, particularly middle- and long-range, would improve if we could provide a valid theoreti- cal formulation. This would have to be interdisciplinary and should encompass both the idioverse of the terrorist and the universe of the terrorist events. Psychiatric contributions are few and they lack general validity. Violence and death wishes, which translate into fantasy war, are generally accepted characteristics. Four theories are briefly discussed: (1) frustration-aggression, (2) unbalance of the social system, (3) Olson's rational choice, and (4) Marxist theory. A subcultural approach would allow consideration of group and individual factors and would permit some valid policy choices.

Franco Ferracuti has been professor of criminological medicine and forensic psychiatry, University of Rome, since 1973, and previously taught criminology, clinical psychology, and psychopathology there. Since 1977, he has beena consultant, Department of Social Services, governmentof Puerto Rico;from 1980-81, consultant,

project

on drugs and crime; and consultant on kidnapping in Sardinia,

United

Nations Social Defense Research Institute, Rome;from 1978-81, consultant, Italian Ministry of the Interior on antiterrorism. He has been visiting professor at various

universities in the United States and was aformer staff member, UN Secretariat. He is a member of the American and International Societies of Criminology and was former chairman and member of the Criminological Scientific Council of the Council

of Europe.

129

  • 130 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

EFINITIONS of terrorism,as

well as

descriptive

many

or histori-

and several

cal studies, are

attempts

prescriptions

control,

and

have been made to outline

for the prevention,

management

of

the

phenomenon.

Attempts

gence

menon

to

becoming

mon.

explain this emer-

group pheno-

process of

of terrorism at a

level,

or

the

a terrorist, are less com-

They range from individual,

biographical accounts to sweeping

sociopolitical or psychiatric gener-

alizations.

emerged,

No

single

theory

has

and the various

will

hypo-

theses that have been

still

awaiting testing

attempt

tion. The

proposed are

and confirma-

be made to

present

an

nary

in

mind

integrated, interdiscipli-

approach, keeping

studies

and the

theoretical

existing

rather disappointing lessons that

criminologists have learned tried to reach a

and

psychiatrists

they

have

whenever

scientifically accep-

exploration.

and/

table level of theoretical

Some preliminary definitions

or statements of obviously needed.

approach are

WHICH TERRORISM?

Terrorism is not new. Its

impact

is,

though, and it has forced itself

limelight

of international

Many types of terror-

and

of the

an objective

defini-

many attempts, is

difficulty

value

into the

awareness.

isms coexist,

tion,

in

spite

still debated. One obvious

is

the need to abstain from

judgments

and personal involve-

that is

practically

pheno-

ments, a position

impossible

in

relation to a

menon in which we can all be partic-

ipants,

victims,

or even

actors.

cloud

Moral and

political judgments

the issue, and today's

terrorist can

fighter,"

if

be tomorrow's "freedom

his actions are successful. Pontara's

definition is as

as any:

carried out as

political

good a starting point

action

"A terrorist act is

part

any of a method of

aimed

at

struggle,

influencing,

defending

ing

the

or

conquering

or

the State

power, imply-

violence

use of extreme

(inflicting death, or suffering or

injuries)

against

innocent,

non-

combatant

persons."1

This defini-

tion includes both terrorism "from

below" and terrorism "from

by

a state against

external enemies.

above,"

its internal or

In the

and

following

discussion, only

political

ered,

terrorism will be consid-

within this category, frankly psychopatholog-

will

also be excluded.

criminal or

ical subjects

Although

terrorist movements can

use the criminal element, or merge

with

it,

and

although

mentally

the

psy-

imbalanced individuals, in

chiatric range,

rorist

interest

groups,

is,

can be used by ter-

what is of

greater

of course, the "normal"

terrorist, that is, the individual who

is mentally

altered,

rotic

at

who is

sane, or

most in the

only slightly

psychoneu-

and

or psychopathic range,

engaged

in

subrevolutionary

or revolutionary activities. Criminal

terrorists are

goals

nal, and they

such.

using terror, but their

and motivations remain crimi-

must be

approached

terrorists

as

and

Psychiatric

assassins of

remain

major political figures

almost

unpredictable,

chance occurrences, and defy fore-

casting and theoretical

tions.2

explana-

1.

G. Pontara, "Violenzae

Terrorismo:il

Problema della Definizione e della Giustifi-

cazione," in Dimensioni del TerrorismoPoli-

tico,

ed. L. Bonanate (Milan: Franco Angeli,

of political

examples

K. M.

assassina-

are: M. C.

The

Schmitt,

1979), pp. 25-98.

2.

Many

studies

tions exist. Two recent Havens, C. Leiden, and

Politics of Assassination (Englewood Cliffs,

SOCIOPSYCHIATRICINTERPRETATION

131

The phenomenon

of terrorism

also merges

sent and

actions

accepted

with otherforms of dis-

protest.

begins

forms

The range

legal

of

and

with

of dissent, such as

protests,petitions or

peaceful

demon-

individualoral

grievances,

and

strations; moves to illegal but often toleratedbehavior, such as coercive

demonstrations, violent demonstra-

tions, seizures of

dalism;

and

property and van-

escalates to

finally

illegal and unacceptablebehavior,

such

as sabotage, personalassault,

assassi-

bombing, kidnapping, and

nation.3The latter can take the for-

mat of mass murder, and serious warnings have been voiced about

the

possibility

of future chemical,

bacteriological, or nuclearthreats.4

The "war

ism

is, goes

proxy," which terror-

by

on in

spite

of

occasional,

often temporary "victories" by coun-

terterrorists,perhaps because it is

the

only possible

methodof waging

large-scale

un-

war left in a worldwhere

warfare has been rendered

thinkable

by

the

finality

of

global

be

atomic destruction. As it will

seen

later, this perception

of low-

level conflict,represented by terror-

ism as

war, may be essential to the

terrorist mind set.

In the

final analysis, the relativity

post

facto nature of the

and the ex

concept of terrorism defy definition.

Cynically, but perhapstruly,

terror-

ism could be defined as "what the

other person does."What

state,

do

is

we, or the

"anti- or counter-

terrorism,"but obviously the posi-

tions can be

reversed

by shifting

of

sides, or simply by the flow

history.

THE UNITS OF ANALYSIS

NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970); and J. F. Kirkham,

Levy, and W. J. Crofty,

Political

National

Violence,

S.

Assassination and

report

to the

Causes and

Vol. 8 of a

Commission on the

Prevention

Government

3.

of Violence (Washington, DC:

Printing Office, 1969).

B. McClure, The Dynamics of Terror-

ism (Washington, DC: International Associa-

tion of Chiefs of

4.

rorist

Among

the

most often

Police, 1976).

many

studies of future ter-

strategy, the following are some of the

quoted:

B. M.

Jenkins, "Interna-

Conflict,"

tional Terrorism: A New Mode of

in International Terrorismand WorldSecur-

ity,

eds.

0.

Carlton and C.

Schaerf (New

13-49;

B. M.

Terrorism and of New Technol-

York: Halsted Press, 1975), pp.

Jenkins, High

Surrogate

ogy

on

Technology

Impact

War: The

Low-Level

Violence, P-5339 (Santa

Corporation,1975);

B.

Poten-

Monica:CA: The Rand

M.

Jenkins, Terrorism: Trends and

CA: Hoover Institution

Advisory

tialities

ration,

(Santa Monica,CA: The Rand Corpo-

1977);

R.

H. Kupperman and D. Threat, Reality, Response

Press,

Trent, Terrorism:

(Stanford,

1979);

National

Criminal Justice

Committee on

Standards and Goals, Dis-

(Washington, DC: U.S.

1976);

P.

Wilkinson,

orders and Terrorism

Department of Justice,

Political

Terrorism (London: Macmillan,

1974).

Leavingaside, at least momentar-

ily, a general definition,we can try

to

satisfy

our

historically and statis-

colleagues

and con-

description of a

analysis.

tically

oriented

on

a

centrate

terrorist act as a unit of

Again, serious difficulties arise.

already

from very minor

even

The scale of events, which has

been

presented,

ranges

acts, some of them

quasi-legal or at least toler-

painting graffiti on a

Bologna

ated, such as

national monumentto the

Railroad Station

100

massacre, at the

Obviously, the

counted as

casualties level.

two events cannot be

equal. Also,

the valenceof the event

must be assessed against the general

climate of the

area of the

ical and

police

country, or even the

a

given

histor-

country, in

political moment.To burna

car in CentralAmerica or in

Northern Ireland has a different

value and impact than the same

event,undoubtly illegal andclaimed

as

terrorist,

in

Switzerland or in

  • 132 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

Norway. The level of reporting will

also

vary,

according

to the

fre-

quency of

ception

events and the

of them.

publicper-

Criminologists

problem of

Sellin-

and the

have been faced with the

indexing

crimes,

Wolfgang indexhas markeda major

progress in the

attempt to refineour

measurements.5 Not only does it allow for the weighting of eventsbut

it also takes into accountthe relativ-

ity

and the

temporal

variations of

the weights.

missing

in the

So far, such an index is

study

of chronologies

of terroristevents and is obviously a

required tool before adequate com-

puterization

can be

attempted6 or

before statistical tests, such as the

Poisson model,7can

be

applied to

series of incidents. The rarity of

events makes statistical tests

tionable

and unreliable.

ques-

More

refined measures-or

ferent areas,

ception or

public

tapped

entirely dif-

publicper-

such as the

fear of terrorism, have to be

or

concern-may if we are to make our mea-

surementsmeaningful.8

5.

T. Sellin and M. E. Wolfgang,

of Delinquency (New

The

York:

Measurement

John Wiley, 1964).

6.

See,

Waterman

for a concise discussion, D. A. and B. M. Jenkins, "Heuristic

Modeling Using

tems,"

Rule-Based

Computer Sys-

in Terrorism, eds. R. H. Kupperman

and W. W. Fowler,

and D. Trent, pp. 285-330;

An

Agenda for Quantitative Researchon Ter-

rorism (Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corpo-

ration, 1980).

7.

J. M. Gleason,

"A Poisson Model of

Incidents of International Terrorism in the

United States," Terrorism, 4(1-4):259-65

(1980). 8.

For an

S.

example of a public opinion

G.

Levy, "Special

Toward

Research

Vio-

Political

Italian studies,

study, see

Report:

lence,"

Attitudes

in Assassination and Political Vio-

and W. J.

lence, eds. J. F. Kirkham, S. Levy,

Crofty, 1969. Examples

of

unpublished, are

Ferracuti,

Italy,"

eds.

reported in F. Bruno and F.

in Perspective:

on

Aggression,

"Aggression

in Global

Perspectives

A. P. Goldstein and

M. Segall (New

York: Pergamon Press, forthcoming).

Typologies are also of questiona-

must be

ble value.To be useful,they

at least

descriptive, inclusive, dis-

crete, endowedwith forecasting or

prognosticvalue, policy-generating,

possibly etiological,

cally grounded.

and theoreti-

taxonomy

No such

exists for terrorism,

and available

typologies of revolutionor destabili- zation do not fare better. McClure's

types

by cause are of some

help

in

identifying

they stop

the main motives, but

at a very superficial level

of ideological commitmentand fall

shortof

any He lists five major types by

other criterionof valid-

ity.9 "cause":
ity.9
"cause":

-resistance to colonial rule, for

example, Algeria

the

onlytype

or

Cyprus,

fading intohistor-

victory

and

ical oblivion ater

international global support;

-separatism,

Basques

for

example,

the

or the Puerto Ricans,

allied to colonialresistance, but

ethnically basedand politically varied;

-internal-political,

early

volving

power

within a

for

example,

Mao or early Castro,in-

an

attempt

to seize

country which

political

even

may connotations and

have different

may change political affiliations;

-ideological,

for

example,Tupa-

maros, the Red Brigade, Baader

Meinhof, or Weather Under-

ground; this is the most danger- ous and the one that attracts

theoreticalattention; the goal is the destruction of the system without a viable and coherent alternativein view;

-supporting

external takeover,

in

the

for example, Vietnam

9.

B. McClure, The Dynamics of Terror-

ism, 1976.

SOCIOPSYCHIATRICINTERPRETATION

133

sixties, which may be a covert

operation,

and is

limited interest.

generally of

The five

types may merge,

and

the identification of the terrorist

group may attempt

to

encompass

more than one type, such as the

unsuccessful

Brigade

attempt by

the Red

to establish a Sardinian

branch, labeled "BarbagiaRossa,"

exploiting deep-rootedfeelings

of

independence. Bonanate10

typology,

dichotomy

and

presents

on

a concise

based

of

the double

tactical/strategical

instrumental/goal-oriented ter-

primarily

rorism. This is oriented

towardthe modus operandi andcar-

ries little

explanatorypower.

A sociopsychiatric theory

will

have, at present,

to concentrateon

ideological,goal-oriented terrorism.

Manydescriptive worksexist on the

individual and

tics of other

group

characteris-

types,

such as the well-

by

A.

R.

documented

Molnar,"

to the

ted,

study

but their

transferability

"pure,"ideologically commit-

full-time

enemy

of the state is

limited. Thus the heuristic value of

existing typologies remainslimited.

THEORY AS PREDICTION

A

sociopsychiatrictheory

of ter-

rorism, like any theory

of deviant

behavior, or in general, any theory

at all, is a

logically integrated set

of

propositions about the relations of

meaningful

variables. The requi-

sites of a theory have been the

of serious scrutiny

by

object

social and

behavioral scientists. For Talcott

Parsons the principal

good theory

are

precision,

and

criteria of

conceptualclarity,

logical integration.12

The clearest statementof criteria is

probably

Schrag

for

that made

and

an

by

Clarence

criminologicaltheory.s1

theory

can be used

it

explanations,

empirical

inter-

For him, before

in

predictions

must be

given

pretationby

operational definitions.

The requisites alsoinclude the fol-

lowing:

-logical adequacy;

-generality;

-comprehensiveness

(number

and relevance of variables ac-

countedfor);

-informative content;

-fertility

(adaptability to math-

logical operation

heuristic fer-

ematical and

and,

of course,

tility for "better" theories);

-parsimony

(the elimination of

redundancy);

-credibility (congruence between

claims and observed evidence);

-significance (capacity for solv-

ing problems); and

-predictability

(will the claims

hold for future observations?).

For

Gunnar Myrdal, theory

to the

empirical

is a

priori

observation

of facts, but in science,facts are sov-

  • 10. L. Bonanate, ed., Dimensioni del Ter-

(Milan: Franco Angeli,

"Realta e Miti di un

rorismo Politico

  • 12. T. Parsons, "Comment"to L. Gross,

1979); and L. Bonanate,

"Preface to a Metatheoretical Framework,"

American Journal of Sociology, (Sept. 1961).

  • 13. C. Schrag,

67:136-40

"Some Notes on Crimino-

logical Theory," in Conference on Research

Planning on Larson
Planning on
Larson

Crime and Deliquency,

ed. R.

of Southern

Fenomeno a Piu Varianti," Politica Interna-

zionale, 11-12:59-67 (1981).

  • 11. A. R. Molnar, Human Factors Con-

siderations of Undergrounds in

(Washington,

Research

DC:

Special

Insurgencies

Operations

Office, The American University,

December 1965).

  • 1 (Los Angeles: University

California Youth Studies Center, 1962), p. 2.

  • 134 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

ereign.14

limited

Given

the

paucity,

the

of

validity, and the relativity

"facts" about terrorism,

a theoreti-

cal

statement

may

well

be

premature.

Yet

to

get

forecasting requires theory,

out of actuarial

straitjackets

and to allow planning. In terrorism,

two kinds of forecasting obviously coexist.

On one side, limited, short-range

which does

variables but

terrorists'

not tamper

only

with

and other

forecasting,

with

major

predictable

"actors"' activities and behaviors,

essentially

operation,

tested

a

police

or criminalistic

is better solved by such

games, association charting, and profiles or

tools as simulation

psychobiographies.

On

the

other hand, middle- and

long-range forecasting imply

ferent

set of

ducted

using

operations

the

full

to

a dif-

be con-

of the

array

social planner's and policymaker's

tools,

from

Delphi

methods

to

to

mathematical

modeling

systems

analysis. Admittedly,

between

the difference

long-

an

short-, middle-, and

range forecasting is not simply

issue of

temporal extension,

and the

variables to be included in the analy-

sis may extend beyond

limits,

thus

raising

question

of our

the

generational

interesting

right to make policy

generations.16

choices for future

14.

G. Myrdal, Value and Social Theory:

of Essays

on

Methodology, ed. P.

&

Row, 1958),

York: Harper

A Selection

Streeten (New

p. 236.

15.

On

forecasting, many methodological

issues have been raised. For a discussion of

pertinent aspects, see G. Marbach,Previsioni

di

Lungo

Franco

Periodo:Analisi

esplorative(Milan:

"Condi-

of

Angeli, 1980); G. Marbach,

tions and Problems of the Scientific

the

W. W. Deutsch, "Some

Future," Journal of International

Study

Future," Economic Notes, 10 (1981); and

Prospects

for

the

Affairs,

31(2):315-26(1977).

Another

problem

in

forecasting is

(1)

by

the

pre-

individu-

of

the difference

between

diction of future actions

als,

or

the

identification

prospective terrorists, their

into the

entry

groups, their "careers,"and

spontaneous termina-

activities

compared

of future behav-

the forced or tion of their

with

ior of

destabilization.

(2) the analysis

groups, or

the forecasting of

Forecasting

individuals' behav-

activity

ior

is

a

clinically oriented

psychiatrists

have

where

gists

and criminolo-

not fared too well. The

idioverse of the individual terrorist,

in spite of various in-depth

and

biographies,16

except

unknown

facts. The risk of

remains

analyses

largely

for a few unrelated

overgeneralization

remains

large.

and overprediction

Forecasting

group behavior has

of stu-

scient-

for the correlates and

seen a relatively large body

dies, particularly by political

ists searching

predictors

of destabilization.17 The

16.

See, for example, F. J. Hacker, Cru-

Crazies: Terror and Ter-

saders, Criminals,

rorism in

Our Time (New

York: W. W.

Norton, 1976); F. J. Hacker, "Terrorand Ter- rorism: Modern Growth Industry and Mass

Entertainment," Terrorism,

4(1):163-69

(1980). See also K. Kellen, Terrorists-What

Are

They

Like? How Some Terrorists Des-

(Santa

Mon-

For a

Memorie

cribe Their World and Actions

ica, CA: The Rand Corporation,1979).

recent

autobiography,

see

Giorgio,

dalla Clandestinita: un Terrorista Non Pen-

tito Si Racconta

17.

(Milan: Savelli,

1981).

The correlates of destabilization and

revolution

have been analyzed by many

large-scale

following:

studies, however,

S.

Lipset, Political

(New

York:

"Toward a

Sociologi-

Revo-

(1962); C. Johnson,

authors; few exist. See the

Man: TheSocial Bases of Politics

Doubleday, 1960); J. C. Davies,

Theory

of

Revolution,"

27:5-19

cal Review,

American

lutionary

1966); S. P.

Change (Boston:

Huntington,

Little,

Brown,

Political Order in

Changing Societies

(New Haven, CT: Yale

T. R.

Gurr, Why Men

University

Princeton

University Press, 1968);

Rebel

(Princeton,

T.

Press, 1970);

NJ:

R. Gurr, "The Revolution-

SOCIOPSYCHIATRICINTERPRETATION

135

instability

neither

of

political

systems

automatically generates ter-

vitality.

emerges,

it

rorism nor ensures its

Whatever

theory

should

admittedly

nary and should

both

the

be interdiscipli-

attempt

idioverse

to encom-

of

the

pass terrorist and the universe of his or

her social systems.

Of course,

forecasting

could be

Gasset in

futile.

a 1951

To quote Ortega y

speech

on the occasion of his

Ad Honorem Doctorate at the Uni-

versity of Glasgow:

times

projected

emptiness

"Man is at all

frightening

is."18 But

over the

future

which

according

empty

dimension

to

Ortega,

the future is problematic

For

him,

because it is the

of our

life:

prophets were useless:

With the

noon-bright clarity

which

Greekminds enjoyed,already Oeschilus

says

to the first

prophetess,Cassandra,

the most useless

that to

prophetize is

only:

operation of all,

alternatives

becauseit leads to two

if

to

prophetize a

useful, men

prophecy,being

future disaster could be

wouldavoid it, and the

unfulfilled,would not be valid. If, how-

ever, the

prophecy

would

anyhow

be

fulfilled, it wouldmean that to forecast the negative future would have been useless.

Thus

gifts

Apollus

gave Cassandra the

future, on the one

to "see" the

condition that

any attention.

nobody would pay her

Social

Change

Nexus: Some Old Theories

and New

Hypotheses,"Comparative Politics,

J.

C.

Davies,

"Aggres-

Apr. 1973, 359-92;

sion, Violence, Revolution and War," ch. 9 in

Handbook of Political

Psychology, ed. J. N.

Jossey-Bass, 1973),

Knutsen (San Francisco:

pp. 234-60; E. N. Muller, Aggressive Political

Participation (Princeton,

versity Press,

1979);

D.

J.

NJ: Princeton Uni-

Monti, "The Rela-

tion Between Terrorism and Domestic Civil

Disorders," Terrorism, 4(1-4):123-61 (1980).

18.

J. Ortega y Gasset, "Sobre la Rebelion

11

in La Rebelion de

de las Masas," Apendice

las Masas (Madrid:

Revista de Occidente en

Alianza Editorial, 1980).

Forecasting

spite

of

terrorist activities,

is a

terrorists are

Their need for an

most instances,

in

Ortega's pessimism,

a way,

needed art. In

somewhat

audience

helpful.

and,

in

their highly

patterns

feasible.

politicized behavioral

some forecasting

make

AVAILABLE FACTS

A. C.

Hazelip

unity

and

has tried to deter-

in the

principles

of

their adherence to

mine the

terrorists,

the same

analysis

principles,

through

an

of the statements of

promi-

nent terrorist leaders, ranging from

Bakunin to

Marighella.19

The 12

(1) Vio-

principles are the following:

lence

is

necessary

to

oppression. (2)

overthrow

There is no limit to

justified. (3)

their

the extent of violence

Actions should clearly convey

purpose. (4) Reprisal counterproductive. (5)

and

extraordinary

essential

to terrorist

killings

are

Ruthlessness

violence

are

success.

(6)

Government failures can be used to

gain popular

exposes the

support. (7) Terrorism

repressive

side of

Terrorists aim to

government. (8)

incapacitate government directly or

indirectly. (9) Secrecy

to

terrorist operations.

planning

matic

critical

is

important

(10) Syste-

and execution are

success. (11)

to terrorist

Small-scale,

persistent

(12)

attacks are

most effective.

Terrorists are

dedicated to destruction for the sake

of their cause.

From a behavioral science pers-

the most

important

ele-

to be the commitment

operational

rigidity

flexi-

of the

pective,

ments

appear to violence and the

bility, a contrast to the

19. A. C.

Hazelip,

Twelve Tenets of Ter-

rorism An Assessment of Theory and Prac-

tice (Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1980).

  • 136 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

political

credo. Another common

ideologicalterrorism is,

element in

as A.

Koestler indicated, the urge to

cause,

a

leader,

dedicateoneself to a

an ideology.20 This can be a needed

replacement for anomie or for an

existential

vacuum,

which may

drifting or

Thus,

culture.

may be an

may

drive otherindividuals to

to

to

entering

the

engage

drug

in terrorism

adoptive response,

explain

its

appeal

and this

for affluent or

middle-class youthfaced with value

conflicts.21Alternative explanations

are Davies's2

expectations

and

gap

between

rising

and need

satisfaction,

Gurr's23 model,already implied

introduces the

in Marx,24which

discrepancy between "value expec-

tations"and "value

youth's environment.

F.

esteem,

"sentimentof

A

formulated by

capabilities" of

Aggression and violent action, as

Fanon25stated,

thus

increase self-

generating Sorel's

glory."26

"blockade" hypothesis has been

Bonanate,somewhat

in line with the earlier frustration-

aggression hypotheses.27Available

facts,

at least in Europe, contradict

seen as

the "blocks,"unless they are

20.

A. Koestler, quoted by J. C. Davies,

"Aggression, Violence, Revolution and War."

21.

F. Ferracuti and F. Bruno,

the Bad and the

C. R. Huff

"Psychiat-

ric Aspects

Mad,

of Terrorism in Italy," in The

Different,

eds. I. L.

(Lexington,

J.

C.

Barak-Glantz and

MA:

Lexington Books, 1981).

22.

Davies, "Aggression, Violence,

Revolution and War."

23.

T.

R.

Gurr, Why Men Rebel;and T. R.

Gurr, "The Revolution-Social Change Nexus."

24.

K. Marx, "Wage, Labor and

Engels,

Capital," Selected Worksin
Capital,"
Selected Worksin

in K. Marx and F.

Two Volumes (Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing House, 1949) 1.

25.

F. Fanon, quoted by J. C. Davies,

"Aggression, Violence, Revolution and War,"

p.

245.

26.

27.

Sorel, quoted, ibid., p. 245.

L.

Bonante,

Dimensioni del Terro-

rismo Politico.

internal, perceived obstacles, not

related to social realities.

In line with a more psychiatric

approach,patricidal impulses, rig-

idity, and death wishes have been

invoked as

fall short of

explanations. They

all

predictive power and

death is an

general applicability.

The

relationship with

interesting,dynamic element of the

terrorist's

personality. The biologi-

survive, for the indi-

is the

authority death.
authority
death.

cal instinct to

vidual and

society,

that vetoes the

acceptance of

Man escapes fromdeath using every

available

mechanism, but particu-

a

specific psychologi-

larly through

cal

of

lives

attitude,defined as "thedelusion

immortality,"through which man

day by day

as if deatheither did

not exist or did not concern him.

This defense mechanismis a remo-

val and denial of

reality,

an

escape

from reality. Death per se cannotbe

accepted

at the

experiential level

and must thereforebe rationalized,

attributed to chance or to natural

processes, made into a symbol of an

exceptional event, or denied and

lived

simply

as a

religioustransition

from life on earth to eternal life.

The

only

conditionunder which

this attitudetoward death is drasti-

cally

changed and the survival

appears

not to

operate, is

appears

instinct

war. In a war situationman

ready

to kill and

be killed, the most

aggression are

civilized cul-

engage

aberrant forms of

carried

out by highly

tures, and every soldier can

in murder.War

permits the rule of

legitimiza-

death over life and the

tion of terror. The "normal"terror-

ist is thereforelike a soldieroutside

of time and

space, living

only

in a

reality

of war that exists

fantasy.

This is

in his or her

reflected in

pos-

widely

terrorists' writings and in their

ture, when captured, of claiming

"prisoner of war"status.

SOCIOPSYCHIATRICINTERPRETATION

137

At this point, to understandthe

among terrorists,

"nor-

may

differences

mal"citizens, and criminals,it

be useful to

analyze

the elements

that allow one to live in a fantasy

state of war within a reality of

and

peace

democracy, and to compare and

contrastreal war with the terrorist's

fantasy

war.28

Real war is

complex pheno-

a

the subversionof

menon

involving

norms,values, and habits in the lives

of two or more societies

solve

through strength

trying

to

a conflict

basedon opposite interests.A status

of real war can take

place only

if

some conditions exist. The first is

the need for two or more clearly

tinguishable

groups

or

dis-

societies,

each with a clear and discretesocial

identity.

War is a collective and

organized phenomenon. One neces-

sary

and

irreplaceableprerequisite

for a collectiveevent is the existence

of a collectivity.

through

To

modify

itself

a state of war, it

degree

of

must pos-

sess a certain

and

organization

sovereignty. The organization is

neededin orderto maintaina viable

social structure, and sovereignty

ensures the

independence of power

from the structure.

A secondcondition for a real war

to take

crisis

place

is the existence of a

two or more collec-

involving

tivities due to a

reciprocal conflictof

interests.In other words, for war to

happen,

the concerned

experience

groups

or

nations must

the need

for the appropriation of something-

physicalobject or

a

asset-whose

an instrumental

is contested

property

and which is consideredindivisible.

The third conditionis the transi-

tion from a state of peace to a stateof

war, with the

acceptance

of new

values, new goals,

and new behav-

28.

F. Bruno and F. Ferracuti, "Aggres-

sion in Perspective: Italy."

ioral

patterns,

which must be func-

lifestyle.

tional to the new

The last conditionis the need for

the

use of strength and all

technological

the

aids

sophisticated

man

has

limited

created to

multiply his

for the

pur-

enter-

physical power

harm.

that

pose of inflicting

The

process

ing

fication

societiesof the

precedes

a state of war involvesthe identi-

by the participating

"enemy" as

such and

thereforeof the latter'stransforma-

tion into something

tile.

Implied

is a

alien and hos-

projection of one's

own dramaticanxieties over the loss

or destruction of the contested

object; also implied is the decisionto

destroy

vent the

the

enemy

in order to

pre-

appropriation or destruc-

object.

and

parallel

with the

the enemy,

feeling

of

tion of the

Together

process

there

of alienationof

is a maniacal

increasingpower

ity

in the

parties

and invulnerabil-

involved.

produce

All these mechanisms

what the Latin

expression identifies

wage

psychologically domi-

contending

order

as the animusbelli, the will to

war that is

nant in at least oneof the

groups. The oppositegroup, in

to survive, must assume a similar

posture.

Terrorism, however, is

fantasy

war, real only

in the mind of the

terrorist. Fantasy war, of course, is

only partial war,

real

for only

one of

the contestantswho then

adopts war

values,norms, and behaviors against

another, generally

trying

to solve

larger

group,

through strength

a

legitimate

or

illeg-

conflictbased on

itimate

neither

by

the other

deny

tends to

therefore an

grievances. A fantasy war

is

accepted nor acknowledged

group who,

it.

in

effect,

Fantasy war is

ongoing phenomenon,

in a continuously unstable balance

between two

possible stabilizing

  • 138 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

processes: real war or diffuseterror.

Fantasy

war becomes real

the

only

if

acknowledgedby

"enemy," and

becomesterrorism wh