chapter  9
41 Pages

Violence and Terrorism

The study of political violence falls within the sphere of political sociology yet the study of war (Turner 2007), terrorism, and other political violence “remains compartmentalized and incomplete” (Hooks and Rice 2005: 567), despite ongoing global bloodshed. In the case of war, scholars argue that this blind spot results from classical social thought obscuring war (Hooks and McLauchlan 1992b) and a failure to integrate war into social science theory (Hooks and McLauchlan 1992a) rather than a failure of researchers to investigate. In the case of terrorism and other violence, the failure results from focusing on the domestic rather than the international arena in which nation-states operate (Hooks and Rice 2005). Exclusively focusing on “the state” as the unit of analysis potentially inhibits sociologists from contributing to the discussion and possible resolution of some of the most important issues of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including human rights abuses, genocide, and military atrocities (Hooks and Rice 2005) as well as the role of warfare in bringing about globalization (Black 1998). Notable exceptions to this domestic bias are globalization scholars and World Systems (WS) theorists.