Motivational dynamics of suicide terrorism: organizational and individual perspectives
Üstünel Yırcalı, Ayşe (2004) Motivational dynamics of suicide terrorism: organizational and individual perspectives. [Thesis]
There is no abundance in the quantity and quality of research realized in the area of suicide terrorism. Although suicide terrorism is as old a phenomenon as terrorism, the scope of research investigating the latter outweighs and usually encloses the former as a subtopic. The increasing trend in suicide terrorism and the high rate of casualties it inflicts on its target enemy raises significant questions such as what accounts for the rise in suicide terrorism, what kind of people and groups are involved in it, and what kind of measures should governments take to prevent its future occurrences. In order to provide answers to some of these questions a small number of studies attempt to explore what kind of motivations lie at the source which feeds suicide terrorism. The available studies investigating the motives of suicide terrorism generally limit themselves to approaching the phenomenon from a particular angle, such as one that of organizational or individual motivations. The hypothesis of this study is that there need not be an exclusive angle to explaining the motives of suicide terrorism. In order to test this hypothesis, this study has explored two movements, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Islamic Resistance Movement, which have intensely utilized suicide attacks. To this end, these two cases were investigated with the aim of understanding the existing motives among these groups as well as their activists' for carrying out suicide attacks. Indeed the findings of this survey showed that factors of both organizational and individual motivations are applicable and significant in understanding suicide terrorism. The findings of this research suggest that suicide terrorism should be studied in a framework that regards this issue as an act which is fed both by organizational and individual motives. Moreover, both organizational and individual motives also seem to interact among each other. While organizations base their logic on strategic goals, they are obliged to employ individuals and therefore individual motives, which they have learned to exploit in a very efficient manner. On the other hand, although feelings of relative deprivation, humiliation, and revenge can impel a person to sacrifice his life for the good of the whole, encouragement, training, and planning provided to him or her by the organization are essential for the mission.
Repository Staff Only: item control page