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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since the phenomenon of modern suicide terrorism first emerged in Lebanon in the early 1980s it has increased exponentially in both number and geographical range. However, despite this spike and the concomitant surge in its study, there is still no real clear consensus on key issues. As a result, explanations remain imprecise and unevenly developed and datasets continue to remain incomplete and/or incompatible. This chapter outlines some key controversies that plague the study of suicide terrorism including the debates surrounding the use of terminology as well as key definitional issues. Having outlined these main controversies, this chapter then sheds light on what is perhaps the central puzzle for scholars studying this phenomenon, i.e. the rationality underpinning a suicide attack

Keywords: suicide terrorism, martyrdom, suicide attack, terrorism, rationality, symbolic, strategic

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