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The Rationality of Terrorism and Other Forms of Political Violence: Lessons from the Jewish Campaign in Palestine, 1944-1947

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Baxter B125
Bruce Hoffman, Professor, Director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Does terrorism work? Its targets and victims steadfastly maintain that it does not; its practitioners and apologists maintain that it does. Scholars and analysts are divided. But, if terrorism is as ineffective as many claim, why has it persisted for at least the past two millennia and indeed become an increasingly popular means of violent political expression in the twenty-first century? Using the Jewish terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine during the 1940s, this lecture will attempt to shed light on this question.

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Professor Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he is also the Director of both the Center for Security Studies and of the Security Studies Program. In addition, Professor Hoffman is visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also Director of RAND's Washington, D.C. Office. Professor Hoffman is the author of Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017). His most recent books are The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden's Death (2014), and Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (2015), which was awarded the Washington Institute on Near East Studies' Gold Medal for the best book on Middle Eastern politics, history and society published in 2015 and also named The Jewish Book of the Year for  by the Jewish National Book Council.

About the series: The CHHC program is organized around an ongoing series of two-year interdisciplinary research modules, developed and coordinated by a small group of Caltech faculty members and Huntington residential research fellows. The 2016–2018 CHHC module, titled "Violence and Order Past and Present," studies the various roles that violence has played in political and social order, as well as the possible norms and cultural attitudes that have governed its use. Learn more at chhc.caltech.edu.

Series: Caltech-Huntington Humanities Collaborations (CHHC) Seminar Series
For more information, please phone 626-395-3609 or email ftise@hss.caltech.edu or visit http://chhc.caltech.edu/documents/7-chhc_lecture_-_bruce_hoffman.pdf

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