Special Issue Article

What’s in a Name? The Representation of Terrorism Using Political Organization Names

Author
  • Mark Dechesne

Abstract

The present contribution introduces representation theory of terrorism. The basic proposition is that comparison of the names of nonviolent and violent political organizations reveals core characteristics of terrorist organizations. Accordingly, eight characteristics are identified: Hostility, Absolutism, Authoritarianism, Action Orientation, Resistance, Militancy, Achievement Motivation, and Superiority. An empirical study among college students, comparing those preferring groups that possess these characteristics with those preferring groups that do not possess these characteristics, shows that greater endorsement of groups that possess these characteristics is associated with greater support for group‐based violence. Representation theory provides a novel way of looking at terrorism, specifies indicators of violent intent and generates new hypothesis regarding the nature of terrorism.

Keywords: political organization names, terrorism, content analysis, groups

How to Cite:

Dechesne, M., (2012) “What’s in a Name? The Representation of Terrorism Using Political Organization Names”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 5(3), 269-288. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/ayqb-cb27

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Published on
06 Jul 2012
Peer Reviewed