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It’s the Islamism, stupid

Robert Pape suggests that nationalism explains suicide bombings better than Islamism. He should take fundamentalist ideology more seriously

By Peter Nolan   July 2006

A year after 52 Londoners were killed by four suicide bombers, we are no closer to reaching a consensus on why the attacks happened. Were they simply the work of evil men, or were they the inevitable consequence of Britain’s involvement in Iraq? The latest attempt to explain the phenomenon of suicide bombing comes in “Dying to Win” by Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago.

Pape’s contribution is twofold: to translate latter-day suicide terrorism into conventional territorial military struggle; and to claim that campaigns by different organisations may be subsumed for explanation under one colossal theory.…

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