Review: Robert J. Art and Louise Richardson (eds), Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007. US$65.00 (hbk), US$28.00 (pbk). 638 pp

Document Type



Graduate School of Media and Communications


In this age of 24/7 saturation coverage of all things terror-related, it is hard to conceive of a book about terrorism that does not touch on the synergistic relationship between terrorists and the media. That is doubly true of a collection marketed as ‘a comprehensive study’of the lessons drawn from recent history. Yet Democracy and Counterterrorism manages to avoid the issue almost entirely. Absent from the index to this 640-page tome are the words ‘media’,‘television’,‘newspaper’and ‘Internet’. Nowhere in the 14 case studies from Europe, South America, the Middle East and South Asia is there a substantive discussion of media as a tool of terror or a weapon of counterterrorism.‘Terrorism, let’s recall, is the deliberate use of violence, more often than not against non-combatants, to induce political change through fear’, the editors write in their introduction, paraphrasing Rand expert Bruce Hoffman (p. 8).


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

European Journal of Communication