Reviews

For Volatile Social Movements:

This timely book considers multiple manifestations of political violence in the United States and abroad. Rinehart (women’s and gender studies, Univ. of South Carolina) specifically seeks to discover the causal factors of radicalization in mass movements—the group dynamics that transform nonviolent social movements into organizations employing terrorism. Three radicalizing factors are identified: charismatic leaders deciding to use terrorism, obediently implemented by followers; frustration as the political goals of a movement are not accomplished by peaceful means and violence ensues; ascendance of violent personalities to leadership positions in social movements. This multidisciplinary conceptual framework is applied to four case studies: the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Basque Euzkadi ta Askatasuna of Spain, Fuerzas Armados Revolucionarios de Colombia, and Ceylon’s Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The concluding chapter analyzes the similarities and differences among the case studies and points to future research topics such as the radicalizing impact of universities, the utility of Marxist ideology, reasons for dissolution of terrorist groups, and the rise of religious terrorism, a most relevant phenomenon to policy makers worldwide. This is a good start on the study of radicalization, an extremely complex phenomenon in need of more extensive and methodologically complex examination. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels.
CHOICE

An interesting and important account of the role of certain types of social movements in originating and causing terrorism. The author points out that while many terrorist organizations had begun as social movements seeking to achieve their objectives through nonviolent tactics, over time terrorist tactics became their ‘method of choice.’ To explain how such transitions from non-violence to violence occurred, the author examines the individual characteristics, group dynamics, and external forces in how such phenomena occurred in the case studies of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Basque ETA in Spain, the FARC in Colombia, and the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The author finds that terrorist groups emerge from social movements under certain conditions that include the presence of frustration ‘that led to aggression’ and leadership by a charismatic leader that possesses a ‘violent personality’ (pp.141-142). Also of interest is the author’s recommendation for future research, particularly the call for scholars to ‘study why terrorist organizations disaffiliate or die.’ (p.143)
Perspectives on Terrorism

For Drones and Targeted Killing in the Middle East and Africa:

Rinehart provides a deeply empirical look at the challenges of drone warfare and targeted killing based on thoroughly documented research, systematically examining the results of U.S. counter-terrorism policy in multiple theaters of conflict. Giving context and substance to the security situation in each country, she carefully chronicles the successes and failures with data-driven analysis balanced by observations from outcomes on the ground to the pilot’s remote control rooms. Her well-reasoned evaluation of counter-terrorism efforts finds striking failures in each country reviewed, noting an increase in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, while meticulously tabulating the full costs of the U.S. drone program. Her timely work will greatly contribute to the dialogue on the effectiveness of new technologies in warfare.
James DeShaw Rae, California State University

Christine Sixta Rinehart has managed to capture the essence of the drone targeting campaign being waged by America in undeclared battlezones across the Muslim world in this fascinating volume. A must read for scholars interested in probing beyond the headlines into the murky world of drone counter terrorism operations.
Brian Glyn Williams, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Christina Sixta Rinehart has produced a compelling account of how the use of drone warfare has hurt American interests. In this comprehensive study, Rinehart details how drones have destabilized allies, recruited more terrorists than it has eliminated, expended scarce resources and all the while failing to weaken terrorism or make America safer. Clearly written and supplemented with a wealth of data, this is a must read for anyone interested in drone warfare and the war against terror.
Steven David, Johns Hopkins University

Colonel Julian Cheater and myself, Creech AFB
Colonel Squeeze, Vice Wing Commander Holloman AFB