Author Biography

Murad Ismayilov holds an MA in International Relations from Baku State University (2004) and an MSt in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (2009). He is Program Manager for Research and Publications at Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA). He is also the Editor of ADA's biweekly online publication Azerbaijan in the World. He may be reached for comment at: mismayilov@ada.edu.az.



Subject Area Keywords

Al-Qaida, Fundamentalism, Intelligence studies/education, Radicalization, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Violent extremism


This article presents an analysis of different approaches to terrorist violence, with a particular focus on suicide terrorism, using the above mentioned levels of analysis as a conceptual framework to organize this study. In doing so, the article focuses primarily on four selected studies: Khashan's theory of collective Palestinian frustration operating at individual and structural levels; Pape's strategic theory of suicide terrorism, Devji's notion of global jihad, and Hammes' conceptualization of suicide terrorism as one of the strategies of Fourth Generation Warfare, all studied at a strategic level. Drawing on these analyses, as well as on Tilly, this article attempts to address the question of whether suicide terrorism represents a "coherent phenomenon," and whether there is, or may be, a generalized pattern which could account for all possible causes of martyrdom operations.