The terrorist threat remains a disturbing issue for the early 1990s. This book explores whether terrorism can ever be morally justifiable and if so under what circumstances.
Professor Burleigh Taylor Wilkins suggests that the popular characterisation of terrorists as criminals fails to acknowledge the reasons why terrorists resort to violence. It is argued that terrorism cannot be adequately understood unless the collective responsibility of organised groups, such as political states, for wrongs allegedly done against the groups which the terrorists represent is taken into account. Terrorism and Collective Responsibility provides an analysis of various models of collective responsibility, and it takes into account recent discussions of military responsibility and business ethics. The book also explores the problems that terrorism poses for the just war tradition.
The arguments of prominent philosophers against terrorism are critically examined and the claim that terrorism necessarily violates the rights of innocent persons is considered. Wilkins sets forth an original definition of terrorism that is sure to provoke controversy.