Terrorism in the 1980s

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

Reviews terrorism in the 1970s and foresees its persistence in the 1980s. The author speculates that terrorists possibly may abandon their aversion to large-scale violence as their acts become more commonplace, lose publicity value, and wrest diminishing returns from increasingly resistant governments. Governments are increasing their expenditures for security services. Those of the private sector appear to be increasing even more rapidly. The lower levels of terrorist violence in the United States may move upward — mainly, the author suspects, in response to developments abroad, particularly political struggles in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. The author lists several dangers that may not lead directly to terrorist violence in the United States but promote an atmosphere conducive to it &mdash notably, disaffection with government, corporations, and law enforcement agencies, and the possible resurgence of racism, religious fanaticism, narrow interest groups, and single-issue politics that permit no compromise.

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