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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to refute the surprise and shock that arises as a response to women’s involvement in political violence. It does so by first revisiting the longstanding literature on women’s engagement in political violence, looking at both the provocative and the thoughtful conclusions that have been drawn about women’s violence. It then moves onto to consider where and how women have been involved in political violence historically, including as ideologues and actors in pre-revolutionary Russian political violence, leaders in the 1960s Marxist-Leninist groups in the West, activists in the Palestinian intifadas, and suicide bombers in multiple locations. The chapter emphasizes that terrorism studies scholars cannot continue to bifurcate women’s involvement as emotional and relational and men’s involvement as political. Instead, we need to continue to see all individual’s involvement in terrorist activity as complicated.

Keywords: Women, gender, terrorism, historical involvement, rationale/radicalization

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