The Politics of Terror

Erica Chenoweth and Pauline Moore. The Politics of Terror. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Bringing together both classic and contemporary research, The Politics of Terror provides a systematic introduction to the theory, politics, and practice of terrorism. In addition to offering a comprehensive, evidence-based overview of the subject, Chenoweth and Moore challenge readers to think critically. The book is oriented around a set of empirical, theoretical, and methodological puzzles that arise in the study of terrorism. By encouraging students to engage with these puzzles, and equipping them with the resources to do so thoughtfully, the authors present a nuanced introduction to a complex and crucially important field.


  • A comprehensive introduction presents each of the leading analytical approaches, allowing students to easily compare them
  • Every chapter is framed around an empirical or theoretical puzzle, which the authors use to orient their discussions of the evidence, explanations, and proposals available in the field
  • Real-world scenarios in every chapter allow students to see how to use the tools of social science to generate unique insights into the behavior of terrorist organizations
  • Pedagogical features, including country case studies, boxes, discussion questions, and suggested readings, invite students to pursue the subject matter beyond the text

Advance praise for The Politics of Terror

“This is an excellent textbook that far surpasses what is currently available. The Politics of Terror does a masterful job detailing the theoretical approaches to the study of terrorism. It uses rich data and interesting examples to illustrate complex themes. Students of all levels will benefit from this book.”

—Michael Jensen, University of Maryland

“The distinct advantage of this book is that I don’t feel the need to supplement with other books to thoroughly cover the topic. It covers all the major material and is balanced in its approach.”

—Andrea Malji, Transylvania University

“The chapters are all well written and the structure is helpful. The book also does a good job of involving current and relevant scholarship and then helping students understand the contributions of that scholarship.”

—Tyler White, University of Nebraska- Lincoln