How politically effective is terrorism?

Many mil­i­tant groups con­tinue to use ter­rorism despite its polit­ical futility. Max Abrahms, a ter­rorism the­o­rist and newly appointed assis­tant pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence, explains why.

3Qs: The mindset behind mass murder

Last week’s ter­rorist attack in Norway stunned that nation and the world. We asked Jack Levin, the Brud­nick Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Soci­ology and Crim­i­nology at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, who spe­cial­izes in the study of vio­lence and hate, to dis­cuss the mindset of the accused killer and the poten­tial for changes in Norway’s judi­cial system, which imposes rel­a­tively lenient sen­tences for brutal crimes.

3Qs: Train safety on track, but at what cost?

Sen­ator Charles Schumer called for increased Amtrak secu­rity and sug­gested that a “do-​​not-​​ride” list, sim­ilar to the no-​​fly list used in air­ports, be imple­mented to pre­vent sus­pected ter­ror­ists from boarding trains. Engi­neering pro­fessor Carey Rap­pa­port, the deputy director of Northeastern’s ALERT Center (Aware­ness and Local­iza­tion of Explosives-​​Related Threats), explains the fea­si­bility and effec­tive­ness of a nation­wide rail secu­rity system and dis­cusses public reaction.

3Qs: Opposing Al Qaeda with democracy

Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Inter­na­tional Affairs Berna Turam, the author of “Between Islam and the State: the Pol­i­tics of Engage­ment,” offers insight into the recent upris­ings in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, and explains the impor­tance of hope in the midst of a wave of demo­c­ratic upheaval.