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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Michael Shachat, Fang Hong, Yijing Lin, Helena Syna Desivilya, Dalit Yassour-Borochowitz, Jacqui Akhurst, Mark M. Leach and Kathleen Malley-Morrison

This study aim to examine the themes of moral disengagement (MD) and engagement in reasoning regarding a putative governmental right to kill innocent civilians when…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aim to examine the themes of moral disengagement (MD) and engagement in reasoning regarding a putative governmental right to kill innocent civilians when fighting terrorism.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 147 participants from Israel, 101 from the USA and 80 from South Africa provided quantitative rating scale responses and qualitative explanations about such a putative right. Qualitative responses were coded for presence or absence of indices of MD and engagement.

Findings

In ANOVAs by gender and country, men scored higher than women on rating scale scores indicating support for the right; there were no significant national differences on these scores. Chi-square analyses with the coded qualitative responses indicated more men than women gave morally disengaged responses, proportionately more South Africans than Israelis provided morally disengaged responses and proportionately more South Africans and Americans than Israelis provided morally engaged responses. Pearson correlation analyses indicated that MD was positively correlated with rating scale scores and moral engagement was negatively related to rating scale scores in all three countries.

Research limitations/implications

Regarding limitations, it is difficult to know how the omission of qualitative explanations of rating scale responses by many participants influenced the statistical findings – or how to interpret the more restricted level of qualitative responses in Israel and South Africa as compared to the USA.

Social implications

Programs designed to counteract MD have the potential for helping reduce support for war and its inhumanities across diverse nations.

Originality/value

This is the first study on MD to compare American, Israeli and South African perspectives on the justifiability of human rights violations in the war on terror. The findings go beyond earlier studies in finding gender differences in MD that occurred across three very different nations in three very different parts of the world.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Drones and the Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-249-9

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Book part
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Stephen C. Poulson

This study investigates patterns of violence employed by insurgents killing civilians living in small ethnic enclaves located in Ninewa Province, Iraq from 2003 to 2009…

Abstract

This study investigates patterns of violence employed by insurgents killing civilians living in small ethnic enclaves located in Ninewa Province, Iraq from 2003 to 2009. The ethnic minorities in these communities include: (1) Yazidis in Sinjar District, (2) Chaldo-Assyrian Christians in the Ninewa Plains and, (3) the Turkmen enclave of Tal Afar. To date, there has been little investigation into violence directed toward small ethnic enclaves during civil war, though some have suggested that ethnic enclaves might insulate civilians from violence (Kaufmann, 1996). Using fatality data from the Iraq Body Count, this study compares the patterns of insurgent violence directed toward these enclave communities to co-ethnic and mixed-ethnic communities. The experiences of the enclaves were varied – some were largely insulated from attacks – but when attacked, the average number killed was greater and more indiscriminate as compared to communities with significant Arab populations. One possible explanation for these differences is that insurgents did not regard these citizens as being “convertible,” which caused them to employ violence in a more indiscriminate manner. When insurgents did act to secure control of enclave communities, they used indiscriminate forms of violence against civilians, as compared to more selective forms of violence employed when controlling co-ethnic communities.

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Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-190-2

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2003

Orlando Rodriguez

Terrorism’s political strategy is to force the State to accept social or political change by inciting fear among civilian sectors of a population, while attempting to gain…

Abstract

Terrorism’s political strategy is to force the State to accept social or political change by inciting fear among civilian sectors of a population, while attempting to gain sympathy from other civilian sectors whose interests terrorists claim to represent. Usually, the civilian recipients of terror see themselves as defenseless without the State’s intervention, and they view counter-terrorist policy as being in the province of the State. Policy analysts tacitly or explicitly share this view. In reality, civilian involvement could improve the effectiveness of counter-terrorist policy. To illustrate this, I discuss three issues around which citizen groups have organized and are making an impact on public opinion and policy in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001: public safety, particularly the Indian Point, New York, nuclear plant; learning from mistakes by government intelligence agencies in order to prevent future attacks; and rejection of war and violence as responses to terror.

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Terrorism and Disaster: New Threats, New Ideas
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-227-6

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2014

Matthew Beard

The images of soldiers which are evoked on memorial days commonly include a number of different virtues: courage, loyalty, fraternity, etc. One ideal perhaps extolled…

Abstract

The images of soldiers which are evoked on memorial days commonly include a number of different virtues: courage, loyalty, fraternity, etc. One ideal perhaps extolled above all others is that of sacrifice. Soldiers, according to popular moral platitudes, are lauded for the sacrifices they make for the common good. Implied in this is the expectation that soldiers ought to be the type of people who are prepared to sacrifice themselves in defence of an ideal. Within the most popular framework for morally evaluating war, Just War Theory, sacrifice tends to be understood from within the deontological, rights-based framework that modern just war theorists favour. In this chapter I will aim to show how the conclusions drawn by considering sacrifice through a deontological lens can be enriched through the addition of virtue theoretical considerations, leading to a fuller account of sacrifice.

This chapter takes a philosophical approach to the idea of sacrifice in the military. It explores whether the predominant framework used for evaluating war, Just War Theory, is a suitable framework for understanding the sacrifices soldiers, commanders, and political leaders can be asked to make in times of war. Focussing on various conceptions of sacrifice, including physical and moral sacrifices, the chapter argues that the predominantly deontological formulation of modern just war theories could be enriched by considering notions surrounding the ancient Greek concept of arete (virtue). Thus, as well as being a detailed exposition of sacrifice in war, the chapter also seeks to show how consideration of aretaic notions such as virtue, character and moral psychology can enrich just war theories responses to various issues.

The value of this research is in suggesting that soldiers are morally obligated to accept more risk than modern warfare typically places, or at least historically has placed, on them. It also has implications for military ethics education in that it suggests that soldiers’ characters should be shaped in such a way as to dispose them to sacrifice. Further, it has implications for the use of Just War Theory in international relations by introducing a moral framework through which political leaders can determine when they might be morally obligated to forgive the indiscretions of another nation, and what it means to forgive in this context. As such, it makes a contribution to a growing discussion within Just War Theory: jus post bellum – the moral norms surrounding the resolution of conflict.

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Achieving Ethical Excellence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-245-6

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Drones and the Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-249-9

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Hamed Tofangsaz

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the counter-terrorism financing regime provides a solid platform for a better understanding of who should be considered…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the counter-terrorism financing regime provides a solid platform for a better understanding of who should be considered terrorists or what forms terrorism, terrorist acts and terrorist groups, the financing of which is the subject matter. In the absence of an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, the question which needs to be posed is whether there is a clear and common understanding of what constitutes terrorism, terrorist acts and terrorist groups, the financing of which needs to be stopped. That is, from a criminal law perspective, whether the Terrorist Financing Convention, as the backbone of the counter-terrorist financing regime, clarifies what types of conduct, by who, in what circumstances and when, against whom (targets or victims) and with what intention or motivation should be considered terrorism?

Design/methodology/approach

It will be explained how and why it has been difficult to reach an agreement on the definition of terrorism. The endeavour of the drafters of the Terrorist Financing Convention and others involved in countering terrorist financing to establish a general definition of terrorism will be examined.

Findings

The record of attempts to define the elements of terrorism proves that it is hardly possible to reach an agreement on a generic definition of terrorism because the concept of terrorism is elusive and subject to various understandings. Even the definition provided by the Terrorist Financing Convention, is not convincing.

Originality/value

With regard to the findings, this paper calls for further research on the legal consequences of the implementation of the terrorist financing-counter measures, while the scope of terrorism, terrorist acts and terrorist organizations have been left vague.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2008

Maya Beasley

Purpose: The majority of academic and policy studies on counterterrorism rely on what is termed “the terror stock model.” According to this model, terrorist activity can…

Abstract

Purpose: The majority of academic and policy studies on counterterrorism rely on what is termed “the terror stock model.” According to this model, terrorist activity can be viewed as a product of a stock of terror: a combination of human, physical, and monetary resources needed to launch terrorist attacks. Consequently, countering terrorism is a matter of reducing the capacity of terrorist organizations to operate via direct assaults on terrorists themselves. Defining terrorism as a form of collective action, this article examines how various Israeli initiatives influence Palestinian acts of terrorism.

Method: This paper investigates how the rate of suicide terror attempts is affected by violent, non-violent, and socioeconomic forms of initiatives by the Israeli government between 2000 and 2006 using a series of event-history analyses. While directly addressing the efficacy of what the Israeli government terms as its methods of counterterrorism – violent repression of insurgents and terror suspects – it also explores the applicability of various social movement theories to exact a more accurate awareness of what activities actually incite or inhibit terrorism.

Findings: The results indicate that while certain forms of repression that the Israeli government identifies as counter-terrorist measures (such as killing of insurgents and detentions) have the intended outcome – a lower rate of suicide bombings – other forms and measures of repression have mixed effects. The results suggest that suicide bombings can be explained at least partly by a mixture of increased hostility, limited capacity to mobilize, and socioeconomic distress.

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Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution: Sociological Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-8485-5122-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2016

Larissa R. Begley

Since taking power in July 1994, the RPF government has strived to eliminate the Hutu/Tutsi identities from public discourse, replacing the previous divisive identities…

Abstract

Since taking power in July 1994, the RPF government has strived to eliminate the Hutu/Tutsi identities from public discourse, replacing the previous divisive identities with a unified nationalist one. For those who use Hutu/Tutsi identities outside the context of the genocide, they are considered genocidaire sympathisers, negationists and spreading divisionism. However, within the context of the genocide, the role of “ethnicity” is being reinforced and reaffirming ethnic divisions. In 2008, the Rwandan parliament officially changed the 1994 Rwandan genocide to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Based on ethnographic data collected from March until October 2008, this paper will argue that within the public discourse on the genocide, the victim/perpetrator dichotomy has become intertwined with the Tutsi/Hutu identities, creating a hierarchy of victimhood. It will explore how through the process of reconciliation and in particular through gacaca the Hutu and Tutsi identities are imbued with collective guilt and victimization.

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Narratives of Identity in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-078-7

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Orly Ben‐Yoav Nobel, Donald Campbell, Sean T. Hannah and Brian Wortinger

The aim of this exploratory study is to assess the impact of role clarity and concern for the other party's goals on soldiers' negotiations with members of the local…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this exploratory study is to assess the impact of role clarity and concern for the other party's goals on soldiers' negotiations with members of the local population within a combat zone.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the Dual Concerns Model it was hypothesized that soldiers experiencing high concern for the needs of their Iraqi counterparts would engage in: higher levels of problem solving behavior; report greater trust in their counterparts; and reach more mutually satisfying agreements under conditions of role clarity relative to role ambiguity. A total of 42 officers and non‐commissioned officers serving in Iraq participated in the study.

Findings

The results supported the prediction that role clarity moderates the relationship between concern for the other party's needs and various outcomes of the negotiation process.

Research limitations/implications

The study involved a small convenience sample, cross‐sectional design, and a single source of data for all measures. Nonetheless, the results are consistent with other studies examining the theoretical assumptions of the Dual Concern Model and suggest that role clarity may serve as a useful operationalization of high self‐concern and high resistance to yielding.

Originality/value

The study advances knowledge about soldiers' ability to negotiate mutually satisfying agreements with members of the local population. It points to the need to combine a policy of collaboration with local civilians with the communication of a clear set of overall mission and specific negotiation goals and objectives.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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