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39.3 - Terrorism, Gender, and History

HSR Vol. 39 (2014) No. 3: Special Issue: Terrorism, Gender, and History, Sylvia Schraut & Klaus Weinhauer (Eds.)

Gendered perspectives on terrorism are still absent in most scientific disciplines. This HSR Special Issue stands in the tradition of interdisciplinary culturalist terrorism research, which emerged in the 1990s. Overall, the contributions of this volume demonstrate four research results: First, analyzing terrorism singularly as a present-day political phenomenon fails to recognize its long political, historical and cultural traditions. Second, to neglect gender in political or academic terrorism studies blinds us to the transnational, entangled and transgenerational influence of gender concepts on terroristic agency and on understanding the representation of the terrorist in the media and in scholarly research. Third, the gendered interaction of terrorism with the state and with media societies is of crucial importance. In media societies, mainstream media do not simply transmit information. Instead, they can support dominant politico-cultural norms and values, but can also set agendas by presenting, interpreting and discussing terrorist acts and related state actions. Thus they generate follow-up communication which challenges terrorists and the state. Fourth, it has been shown that interdisciplinary cooperation in gendered terrorism studies broadens and strengthens our knowledge about political violence; it also demonstrates the advantages of emphasizing not only the necessity to use gender as analytical category, but also the necessity to reflect the meaning of the gender concepts we use.