Suicide Bombings is a Routledge Shortcuts version of Riaz Hassan‘s longer book Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings (Routledge, 2011),...

Suicide Bombings is a Routledge Shortcuts version of Riaz Hassan‘s longer book Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings (Routledge, 2011), a study of suicide bombing around the world. Prof Hassan came to this topic via the study of suicide and therefore, provides a different perspective on terror attacks than most other authors. The book provides very detailed information on the rate and type of suicide bombings from 1981 to 2006. According to Prof Hassan, suicide bombings are nothing new to history but have taken a new turn in the modern era as a weapon of political frustration. He examines the history of suicide bombing over the last three decades and explains the reasons, not only why people resort to this type of attack, but also why individuals agree to participate. Prof Hassan provides us with an explanation that does not rely on religion or psychosis but quite rational motivations based on groups of individuals being driven into what they see as a position of last resort. This is a thorough analysis of the field and I highly recommend it. I think it is a book that should be read widely and can change the nature of political debate on this issue.

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