Anne Schwenkenbecher examines the most urgent philosophical questions pertaining to the problem of terrorism: What is terrorism, or, how should it be defined? And could terrorism ever be justified? The book questions well established frameworks and widely held convictions: it denies that terrorism is always wrong and morally worse than war. It invites the reader to approach these matters from a new perspective, according to which terrorism is just one of many forms of political violence. It argues that if war can be justified then so can terrorism. Despite the large academic literature on terrorism, there are still urgent and thus far unanswered philosophical questions pertaining to the conceptualization and the moral evaluation of terrorism. Apart from relying on intrinsically flawed definitions of terrorism, many academics apply double standards when discussing this problem.
Anne Schwenkenbecher's motivation for the project is to provide a comprehensive debate of both the concept and the ethics of terrorism which seeks to avoid these shortcomings.