Catalogue


Weapons for victory : the Hiroshima decision /
Robert James Maddox.
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 2004.
description
xvii, 215 p. : port. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0826215319 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 2004.
isbn
0826215319 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5304089
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-202) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Barry Cooper is Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-03-01:
Cooper (Univ. of Calgary, CA) begins with the premise that understanding terrorism (or at least, Aum Shinrikyo and Al-Qaeda) requires an understanding of the motives of terrorists, which is not an especially novel claim. Where Cooper moves beyond the ordinary is in his insistence that such motives should be understood as a "variety of spiritual disorder," or a spiritual "perversity" that leads terrorists to care more about killing than to advance a specific political agenda. Adapting the work of Eric Voegelin, Cooper argues this approach--a disease of the spirit allows scholars and policymakers to comprehend the underlying nature of this "new apocalyptic political religion." It is an interesting idea, but it is not entirely clear how the invocation of Voegelin really advances understanding beyond its insistence that people inquire seriously into what terrorists say about their motives. The concluding chapter, "Counternetwar," for example, simply reasserts the value of well-known counterterrorism strategies and arguments. What's written is sensible enough, but it's not clear how much the Voegelinian analytical framework contributes to it. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. J. E. Finn Wesleyan University
Reviews
Review Quotes
" New Political Religionsis clearly written, and it includes enough basic information, and enough fresh understanding, to be recommended to all newcomers to the discussion."- Wilson Quarterly
"Virtually alone within the flood of volumes on September 11 and its aftermath, this study brings us inside the terrorist mind-set. It does this by taking seriously what terrorists say as a guide to the motivations for their horrendously inexplicable actions. Where most of the instant scholarship that has appeared is still floundering to find the appropriate mode of analysis, Cooper has identified the new terrorism as a form of apocalyptic political religion."- David Walsh
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2004
Choice, March 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism, Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the "spiritual motivation" that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque term religion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin's political science and, in particular, by his Schellingian term pneumopathology-a disease of the spirit. While terrorism has been used throughout the ages as a weapon in political struggles, there is an essential difference between groups who use these tactics for more of less rational political goals and those seeking more apocalyptic ends. Cooper argues that today's terrorists have a spiritual perversity that causes them to place greater significance on killing than on exploiting political grievances. He supports his assertion with an analysis of two groups that share the characteristics of a pneumopathological consciousness-Aum Shinrikyo, the terrorist organization that poisoned thousands of Tokyo subway riders in 1995, and Al-Qaeda, the group behind the infamous 9/11 killings. Cooper applies the Voegelinian terms first reality(a commonsense goal regarding legitimate political grievances) and second reality(a fantastic objective sought by those whose rationality has been obscured) to show the major divide between political and apocalyptic terrorist groups. Osama Bin Laden's "second reality" was the imaginary goal that the 9/11 attack was supposed to achieve, and the commonsense reality was what truly happened (the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and the United States's subsequent military response). Cooper shows how such spiritual perversity enables a human being, imagining himself empowered by God, to go on a campaign of mass destruction. Cooper concludes with a chapter on the uniqueness of terrorist networks, their limitations, and the means by which they can be dealt with. In the ongoing conversations among specialists in terrorist studies, as well as the ordinary discourse of citizens in western democracies wishing to understand the world around them, this book will add a distinctive voice.
Main Description
In New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism,Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the “spiritual motivation” that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque term religion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin’s political science and, in particular, by his Schellingian term pneumopathology-a disease of the spirit. While terrorism has been used throughout the ages as a weapon in political struggles, there is an essential difference between groups who use these tactics for more or less rational political goals and those seeking more apocalyptic ends. Cooper argues that today’s terrorists have a spiritual perversity that causes them to place greater significance on killing than on exploiting political grievances. He supports his assertion with an analysis of two groups that share the characteristics of a pneumopathological consciousness-Aum Shinrikyo, the terrorist organization that poisoned thousands of Tokyo subway riders in 1995, and Al-Qaeda, the group behind the infamous 9/11 killings. Cooper applies the Voegelinian terms first reality(a commonsense goal regarding legitimate political grievances) and second reality(a fantastic objective sought by those whose rationality has been obscured) to show the major divide between political and apocalyptic terrorist groups. Osama Bin Laden’s “second reality” was the imaginary goal that the 9/11 attack was supposed to achieve, and the commonsense reality was what truly happened (the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and the United States’s subsequent military response). Cooper shows how such spiritual perversity enables a human being, imagining himself empowered by God, to go on a campaign of mass destruction. Cooper concludes with a chapter on the uniqueness of terrorist networks, their limitations, and the means by which they can be dealt with. In the ongoing conversations among specialists in terrorist studies, as well as the ordinary discourse of citizens in western democracies wishing to understand the world around them, this book will add a distinctive voice.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In 'New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism', Barry Cooper applies the insights of esteemed thinker Eric Voegelin to this political phenomenon, which has been studied from other more conventional and less philosophical perspectives.
Main Description
InNew Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism, Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the "spiritual motivation" that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque termreligion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin's political science and, in particular, by his Schellingian termpneumopathology-a disease of the spirit. Cooper concludes with a chapter on the uniqueness of terrorist networks, their limitations, and the means by which they can be dealt with. In the ongoing conversations among specialists in terrorist studies, as well as the ordinary discourse of citizens in western democracies wishing to understand the world around them, this book adds a distinctive voice.
Short Annotation
Barry Cooper applies the insights of German philosopher Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism, pointing out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the "spiritual motivation" that is central to the actions of terrorists today.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Contextp. 1
The shock of 9/11
Political science and the study of evil
Arendt and Voegelin on interpreting totalitarianism
Contemporary equivalents: hatred of the West
Law, ideology, and terror
Terrorism and globalization: the spiritual dimension
Spiritual disease and violence
New modes of war
Conceptsp. 30
Terrorism defined
The tradition of publicity
Terrorist consciousness: limited ritual murder
Instrumental but limitless political murder
The problem of altruism
Pneumopathology defined
Imagination and "Second Reality"
The refusal to apperceive reality: friction
The new terrorism
Technology and WMDs
Religious motivations: second reality in operation
The example of Aum Shinrikyo: external story
Pneumopathological motives: poa and omnicide
Genealogy of Salafismp. 72
Terrorism and religion
Paradigmatic Islamic history
The early history of Islam
Parallels with the covenant of the Israelites
Derailment, prophecy, and metastatic faith
Ibn Taymiyya
Wahhabism
The Muslim Brotherhood
Reprise
Jihad
Genesis of a New Ideologyp. 110
Jihad and apocalyptic
The goal: creation of an ecumenic umma
Qutb
Perception of America, Egyptian politics
Milestones
The importance of jahiliyya
Qutb's pneumopathology
Qutb's appeal: Faraj
"The Neglected Duty"
Ignorance enshrined
Shiite contributions
Khomeini; Fadlallah
The theological problem of suicide
Bin Laden and Al Qaeda
The ritual of 9/11
Counternetwarp. 158
Networks and the information revolution
Networks, markets, and hierarchies
Netwar and cyberwar
Attributes of networks: technology; organizational design; doctrine
Swarming and its implications
Social capital
Narrative
Attributes of Al Qaeda: the centrality of narrative
Counternetwar
Conclusions
History and the Holy Koranp. 185
Bibliographyp. 199
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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