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date: 15 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the reception of what David Rapoport has called the “anarchist wave of assassinations” as the first wave of global terrorism in East Asia at the turn of the twentieth century. It shows how the terms “terrorism” and “anarchism” were translated into East Asian languages; how the practice of assassinations relates to indigenous traditions of political violence; and in which sense one can speak of “modernity” in the Chinese assassination attempts undertaken. What interested the radicals receiving European models most was the perceived “new” strategy of systematic assassination campaigns as lived out by the Russian Narodnaya Volya, and its potential for “new” groups of people to join political violence, namely women. This strategy was attractive for a time to many kinds of ideological commitments, but especially to the Chinese Nationalists. Thus, this chapter calls into question the definition of the “first wave” in Rapoport’s “four wave concept” as “anarchist.”

Keywords: anarchism, terrorism, nationalism, assassination, China, East Asia, women

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