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