The Four Waves of Modern Terror: An Essay on Generations


The Matthew B. Ridgway Center will host guest lecturer UCLA Professor Emeritus David C. Rapoport, founder and co-editor of the Terrorism and Political Violence at 12:00 p.m., Wed. April 2 in Posvar Hall, room 3911. Read more.

Dr. David C. Rapoport
Professor Emeritus, Political Science UCLA
Founder and Co-Editor
Terrorism and Political Violence
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
12:00 – 1:30 pm
3911 Posvar Hall

Modern terror began in the late 1870s; its distinctive features are its global character, use of explosives, and emergence and recession in the form of waves. We have experienced four waves, the “Anarchist”, “Anti-Colonial”, “New Left” and “Religious”.  Each wave contains a large number of independent groups, special purposes, distinctive tactics, and a distinctive geography and has a different impact on the international state system. The overwhelming number of groups in a wave has much shorter lives than a wave does, but if a group does survive the wave it was originally associated with, it absorbs some of the features in the next wave.  The first three waves lasted around 40 years or a generation by Biblical standards.  If the “Religious Wave” which began in 1979 follows the course of its predecessors it should basically disappear by the 2020’s decade. If history repeats itself, a fifth one will emerge.   Lunch will be provided – please RSVP to beb38@pitt.edu