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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Combating Terrorism: Strategies and Approaches
  • Date: 10/01/2007
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $75.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-299-6
  • Pages: 328
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Combating Terrorism: Strategies and Approaches
William C. Banks, Syracuse University
Renée de Nevers, Syracuse University
Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Syracuse University

Countering terrorism tops the list of America’s devilish set of problems. Americans deal with terrorism and the threat of terrorism through enhanced investigative tools in hopes of interdicting terrorism before it strikes; as a law enforcement issue; as a matter for international cooperation and diplomacy; and as a species of war best fought by the military. These approaches are not mutually exclusive, nor are they exhaustive. Nor have they, or will they, be successful all of the time. But as a central focus of U.S. national security strategy, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

In ten comprehensive chapters, Combating Terrorism discusses tools and tactics for dealing with this ever-changing challenge, with a focus on how they operate in the real world. Additionally readers are encouraged to explore why terrorists might strike and what might be done to ameliorate root causes. The authors also discuss the dynamics of homeland security planning and recovery, with an examination of the crucial role of the media and our government’s public affairs function in crisis situations. Each chapter features a series of case studies designed to give students a quick study of actual terrorist actions and the counter strategies at work, offering further insight into the complexities of combating terrorism.

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Table of Contents

1. Combating Terrorism: An Introduction

2. Identifying and Assessing the Modern Terrorist Threat

3. The Causes of and Responses to Terrorism

4. Preventing Terrorism: Interdiction and Investigation

5. Law Enforcement and Its Methods

6. Planning for Homeland Security

7. Incident Response

8. International Cooperation

9. Media, Government, and Terrorism

10. Military Responses to Terrorism


Combating Terrorism covers topics that are both current and controversial. The authors handle terrorism with expertise: they know terrorism and they know Washington politics. Moreover, as an instructor, I am grateful when the text leaves some of the judgments up to the students and class debate.”

- Harold Molineu, Ohio University

“The authors are to be complemented for engaging in a very extensive and full treatment on the subject of combating terrorism. They have very effectively utilized the existing literature to address the major subject headings associated with the study of terrorism and have identified and discussed major areas of concern for those who are interested in and, more specifically, have responsibilities for directly or indirectly meet the challenges of preventing and responding to threats, acts and campaigns of domestic, regional and international terrorism.”

- Stephen Sloan, University of Central Florida and Temple University

"In their book, Combating Terrorism, William C. Banks, Renée de Nevers, and Mitchel B. Wallerstein fill a glaring gap in terrorism literature by providing a readable, comprehensive treatment of procedures, policies and tools for defeating, denying, and deterring terrorism threats. The authors make a strong case for thinking in terms of ‘combating terrorism’ rather than ‘countering terrorism,’ and they shed important light on a variety of understudied topics in mainstream terrorism books, including law enforcement investigations, anti-terrorism procedures, and first response. Situating today’s terrorism challenges and solutions in a vibrant historical context, they confront the challenges of combating terrorism head on. Provocative and insightful, Combating Terrorism is an important book for all students and practitioners involved in combating terrorism today and tomorrow."

- Jarret Brachman, Director of Research, Combating Terrorism Center, United States Military Academy
William C. Banks, Syracuse University

William Banks is a professor of law and public administration, as well as director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, at Syracuse University. He is recognized internationally as an expert on constitutional and national security law. Working with Stephen Dycus, Arthur Berney, and Peter Raven-Hansen, Banks wrote the definitive text in the field, National Security Law, Fourth Edition.

Renée de Nevers, Syracuse University

Renée de Nevers is assistant professor of public administration at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Her research on international security currently focuses on sovereignty and the war on terror. She is the author of Comrades No More: The Seeds of Change in Eastern Europe.

Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Syracuse University

Mitchel Wallerstein is Dean of the Maxwell School and a professor of political science and public administration at Syracuse University. He has authored numerous books and articles on national security. Wallerstein previously served as Vice President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where he directed the Program on Global Security and Sustainability. He served from 1993-1997 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counterproliferation Policy and as Senior Representative for Trade Security Policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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