Cronin makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on terrorism and counterterrorism. While other scholars have written extensively on the motivations, methods, and means of terrorism, Cronin is the first to look seriously and historically at how terrorist campaigns come to an end. -- ChoiceWhile the causes of terrorism have long been subject to avid research, Audrey Kurth Cronin's cogent and thoughtful text responds to the curious dearth of works attending to its ends. This is clearly a timely project, coming as policy-makers and academics are increasingly seeking alternative ways to think about and practice terrorism. . . . case-studies are easily the most gripping and readable sections of the text. Cronin never flattens for the sake of parsimonious argumentation, rather allowing the specificity of each case to enlighten us for the continuities and differences at work. As a consequence, they are rich in fascinating detail and her derived conclusions are sophisticated. . . . Such insights should rightly guarantee the text a wide readership. . . . The timeliness, clarity and simplicity of the project contained in How Terrorism Ends should commend it to readers of all descriptions. Above all, Cronin's sensible and well-argued call for 'smarter'(pg. 193) strategies for dealing with terrorism today is one that deserves to be widely heard. -- Nicholas Michelsen, International AffairsBy writing How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin . . . has provided a service to everyone with an interest in counterterrorism by providing much-needed perspective. . . . Cronin's analysis is textured, challenging and insightful. And, as with all good analyses, the assertions at the heart of the argument prompt further lines of inquiry for scholars and practitioners to explore. . . . How Terrorism Ends shines a light on the key issues that relate to an al-Qa'eda threat that is becoming increasingly diffuse, diverse and devolved--and, even with the benefit of Cronin's perspective, difficult to predict. -- Christopher Mackmurdo, Global PolicyIn a new book with the blunt title How Terrorism Ends, Cronin . . . has filled that gap by collecting and analyzing as much information as possible about the demise of past terrorist campaigns and organizations. Eschewing sociological or psychological speculation about why groups opt to use terrorism, she focuses instead on the strategic consequences of their actions. The result is a refreshingly sober treatment of the subject. -- Justin Vogt, The NationalSerious work on this subject has begun to emerge with Audrey Kurth Cronin's splendid recent study, How Terrorism Ends, providing a strong example. -- Richard English, International AffairsI applaud the outstanding analysis in this book. By meticulously selecting, recording, and examining terrorism, Cronin has provided an excellent foundation for the planners and implementers of counterterrorism. -- Terence Parker, Michigan War Studies ReviewThe fact that Cronin's book raises more questions than it answers may ultimately be a positive, because she aims to provide a wide ranging analysis of a subject in its early phases that can serve as a springboard to future studies. How Terrorism Ends is, therefore, a worthwhile book for both academics and policymakers. If a reader agrees with some points and finds others lacking, but ultimately considers how to grapple with terrorism from a new perspective, Cronin will have succeeded in her aims. -- Peter J. P. Krause, Journal of Strategic StudiesCronin has written an important book on how terrorism ends. Her analysis is equally illuminating for its insights into why people engage in terrorism in the first place. -- Max Abrahms, Middle East Quarterly
Amid the fear following 9/11 and other recent terror attacks, it is easy to forget the most important fact about terrorist campaigns: they always come to an end--and often far more quickly than expected. Contrary to what many assume, when it comes to dealing with terrorism it may be more important to understand how it ends than how it begins. Only by understanding the common ways in which terrorist movements have died out or been eradicated in the past can we hope to figure out how to speed the decline of today's terrorist groups, while avoiding unnecessary fears and costly overreactions. In How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin examines how terrorist campaigns have met their demise over the past two centuries, and applies these enduring lessons to outline a new strategy against al-Qaeda.
This book answers questions such as: How long do terrorist campaigns last? When does targeting the leadership finish a group? When do negotiations lead to the end? Under what conditions do groups transition to other forms of violence, such as insurgency or civil war? How and when do they succeed or fail, and then disappear? Examining a wide range of historical examples--including the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, the Provisional IRA, Peru's Shining Path, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and various Palestinian groups--Cronin identifies the ways in which almost all terrorist groups die out, including decapitation (catching or killing the leader), negotiation, repression, and implosion.
How Terrorism Ends is the only comprehensive book on its subject and a rarity among all the books on terrorism--at once practical, optimistic, rigorous, and historical.