The Cycle of Violence and Pathways to Peace
Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 153-170, 2009
19 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2011
Date Written: December 4, 2009
This article analyzes inter-group conflict through the lens of Terror Management Theory and explains how belief systems can breed animosity and hostility towards those who do not share one’s beliefs. Research provides support converging with historical analyses suggesting that many of the same psychological mechanisms that lead terrorists to take aggressive actions may also motivate extreme counter-terrorist policies creating massive amounts of collateral damage. This collateral damage from violent counter-terrorist measures often intensifies the cycle of violence by assisting terrorists in recruiting support. Finally, recent research that provides hope for breaking the cycle of violence is presented.
Keywords: terror management, extremism, political violence, war, peace, existential, conflict, violence, terrorism
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