Author's Name: Geofrey K. Towett
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Political Science
Section Review Papers


Terrorism, Radicalization, Extremism, Actors and Globalization


Terrorism and terrorist activities constitutes a major international security concern that bedevils both the developed as well as the developing countries in the 21st century. Since the 1789 French revolution when the word terrorism was first used in reference to the exercise of punitive and deterrent public violence by the state, current usage tends to associate terrorism mainly, although not exclusively, with acts of non-state actors only. Global interconnectedness has complicated state(s) and international organization’s effort to address this menace. Although there have been several actors within and outside the state making effort to address terrorism, there have been numerous challenges attributed to the growing violent extremism and radicalization in the 21st Century. This review paper relies on the existing secondary data from various parts of the world in providing a conceptual explanation of globalization and how it relates to the complexities in addressing terrorism. The core argument is that owing to globalization, there have been changing dynamics in relation to the size and the network of terror group(s); from state to international groups, scope of operations as well as the actors involved in terrorist activities. This paper particularly observed that the emerging dynamics have complicated efforts by various actors such as the civil society groups, learning institutions, the media as well as the government agencies in addressing terrorism. It was further noted that the emerging challenges in addressing this menace included increasing radicalization and extremism, implications of anti-terrorist measures on civil liberties, multi-faceted sources of finance and sponsorship to terrorist groups and deficiencies in intelligence gathering to counter their activities. This review paper therefore, recommends on intergovernmental agencies intelligence gathering and sharing on terrorist related activities, preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalization that leads to terrorism and a proactive approaches in identifying and addressing heterogeneous community needs to avoid marginalization.

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