Globalisation and the future of terrorism - patterns and predictions
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The present report is a continuation of the work presented in previous reports on an analytical framework for the study of terrorism and asymmetric threats, on the potential for terrorist strikes against infrastructure, and on theories on the causes of terrorism. In the wake of the Cold War, concern has been expressed with regard to new and complex threats to security. The report takes on the widely diverging statements made in existing literature and aims at developing a systematic basis on which to evaluate future trends in terrorism. The study identifies societal conditions that can affect the occurrence of terrorism and the degree to which they are undergoing change. By linking the analysis of societal factors with theories on the causes of terrorism, the present report draws conclusions on future patterns of terrorism. Postulates are reviewed in five issue areas: the international system, the global market economy, demography and ideological changes, and technology. It is impossible to give a precise answer on the occurrence of terrorism in the future. Instead, trends point in opposing directions; some conducive to domestic and international terrorism, some indicating different kinds of terrorism, with varying degrees of lethality and different types of actors and some that are likely to discourage terrorism. There are no systemic factors that clearly show that there will be more terrorism in the future, but there are indicators of the emergence of more transnational, less state-oriented and more lethal forms of terrorism.