Historical Perspectives on Comparing Terrorism "Waves"
Recent terrorist attacks and incidents have re-ignited a longstanding debate on whether various historical trends of terrorist movements are fundamentally similar or dissimilar. While the current debate centers largely on the impact, scope, and root causes of jihadist and extreme right-wing terrorist movements, broader discussions underscore that terrorist organizations and extremist groups can share similarities across ideologies, geographic areas, and causes.
On April 18, 2019, the George Washington University Program on Extremism hosted a panel discussion with presentations from four leading scholars of terrorism who are uniquely able to draw comparisons and differences between terrorist movements. During the panel, moderated by the Program on Extremism's Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Haroro Ingram, four scholars discussed the historical similarities and differences in strategy, tactics, attack patterns, leadership dynamics, and recruitment objectives between contemporary and historic terrorist organizations. The panel's discussants included:
- Dr. Andreas Gofas, Emile Noël Senior Fellow and Fulbright Visiting Scholar at NYU School of Law; Associate Professor of International Relations at the Panteion University of Athens.
- Dr. Gina Scott Ligon, Associate Professor of Management and Collaboration Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Fellow at the Program on Extremism
- Dr. David Malet, Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University School of Public Affairs
- Dr. Erin Miller, Global Terrorism Database (GTD) Program Manager at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)