chapter  6
15 Pages


ByIsaac Taylor

While negotiation is often taken to be a desirable alternative to violence when states are confronted by unjust threats, this commitment is seldom held up when these threats come from terrorist groups. Terrorists are taken to be a special sort of adversary, with whom dialogue is inappropriate. After considering the grounds we have for preferring to respond to unjust threats through negotiation rather than violence more generally, this chapter considers, and rejects, three arguments for not negotiating with terrorists. Appealing to the need to avoid rewarding and encouraging terrorism; the ineffectiveness of negotiating with decentralised terrorist groups; and the extreme demands that terrorists put forward, it is shown, cannot justify a moral prohibition on talking with terrorists.