How Terrorism Ends
Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns
Audrey Kurth Cronin
Narrated by Diana Dorman
Approximately 12 hours
Narrated by Diana Dorman
Approximately 10 hours
Book published by Princeton University Press
Amid the fear following 9/11 and other recent terror attacks, it is easy to forget the most important fact about terrorist campaigns: they always come to an end—and often far more quickly than expected. Contrary to what many assume, when it comes to dealing with terrorism it may be more important to understand how it ends than how it begins. Only by understanding the common ways in which terrorist movements have died out or been eradicated in the past can we hope to figure out how to speed the decline of today's terrorist groups, while avoiding unnecessary fears and costly overreactions. In How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin examines how terrorist campaigns have met their demise over the past two centuries, and applies these enduring lessons to outline a new strategy against al-Qaeda.
This book answers questions such as: How long do terrorist campaigns last? When does targeting the leadership finish a group? When do negotiations lead to the end? Under what conditions do groups transition to other forms of violence, such as insurgency or civil war? How and when do they succeed or fail, and then disappear? Examining a wide range of historical examples—including the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, the Provisional IRA, Peru's Shining Path, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and various Palestinian groups—Cronin identifies the ways in which almost all terrorist groups die out, including decapitation (catching or killing the leader), negotiation, repression, and implosion.
How Terrorism Ends is the only comprehensive book on its subject and a rarity among all the books on terrorism—at once practical, optimistic, rigorous, and historical.
Audrey Kurth Cronin is professor of strategy at the U.S. National War College in Washington, DC, and senior associate in the Changing Character of War program at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Ending Terrorism: Lessons for Defeating al-Qaeda and the coauthor of Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy.
“A truly superb book that addresses the actual resolution of terrorist movements. It has a clarity and definitiveness that is rare in the literature and, moreover, will be of special interest to any official or analyst endeavoring to cope with this threatening and sinister problem. Its careful and rigorous message is one of hope.”
—Philip Bobbitt, author of Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-first Century
“"Thoughtful books on terrorism are sadly a rarity. How Terrorism Ends not only meets that test but also tackles a neglected aspect of the subject. I cannot think of another book that addresses the ending of terrorist campaigns in the systematic way or with the depth that Audrey Cronin does.”
—Adrian Guelke, author of Terrorism and Global Disorder
“This is a thoughtful, sensible, and well-researched analysis of an important but understudied subject with immense policy relevance. It presents a systematic comparative framework that places al-Qaeda in historical perspective.”
—Martha Crenshaw, author of Terrorism in Context
“This is a superb book dealing with an important and timely topic. It is impressive in its research, very well written, and full of insights. A must-read.”
—Brian Michael Jenkins, author of Will Terrorists Go Nuclear?