Special Issue Article

Assessing Contemporary Trends and Future Prospects in the Study of the Suicide Bomber

  • Paul Gill


While the analyses of who engages in terrorism have largely evolved away from early psychopathological accounts, studies that focus on suicide bombers still emphasize personality characteristics as the cause of involvement and contain static interpretations of motivation. This article provides a review of such approaches before offering a number of alternatives that potentially contain more value for moving terrorism research forward. These approaches are illustrated by a series of analyses of a data set of 219 Palestinian suicide bombers: a descriptive analysis of the socio‐demographic characteristics of suicide bombers, their pathways into terrorist organizations, their spatial patterning and issues concerned with lethality. Collectively these analyses show how bringing together different theoretical frameworks can provide a stronger basis for the management of conflict and terrorism.

Keywords: behavior, pathways, profiles, terrorism, suicide bombing

How to Cite:

Gill, P., (2012) “Assessing Contemporary Trends and Future Prospects in the Study of the Suicide Bomber”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 5(3), 239-252. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/jbrv-3q65

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
06 Jul 2012
Peer Reviewed