Class Year

2018

Date

4-27-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

History

Second Department or Program

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Carol Gayle

Second Advisor

Ahmad Sadri

Third Advisor

Chad McCracken

Abstract

The aim of this study is to (a) compare and contrast a number of theoretical approaches to the study of terrorism in order to clearly define what constitutes a terrorist act, (b) analyze various arguments for the moral justification of terrorism, and (c) provide a detailed historical analysis of the actions of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO) to determine whether or not the group’s actions should be considered terrorism. In so doing, this study demonstrates that the actions of the WUO throughout the late 1960s do not constitute terrorism; however, if they do, they could be considered morally just. This case study sheds light on the sociopolitical dynamics that have historically motivated groups to take up armed struggle against their own government, offering new insights for the sociological study of terrorism, a discipline in its infancy.

Language

English


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