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Peer Responses Week 1

HSE 470: Modern Terrorism

Response #1 (Juan): Africa’s size and the evolution of terrorism makes it very difficult to pinpoint what is driving terrorism in the continent. There are many terrorists’ organizations such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab operating in Africa. They don’t necessary share the same ideologies but often work together. Based on this week’s reading I believe that modern causes behind terrorism in Africa are a blend of multiple waves. ISIS ideologies include an Islamic ran state which supports the religious wave. While other organizations advocate for change in current corrupt, ineffective government supporting anarchist wave.  

Solomon, H. Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa. Available from: VitalSource Bookshelf, Springer Nature, 2015. 

Response #2 (Timothy): Rapoport's four waves of modern terrorism provides a framework for understanding the evolution of terrorist movements (Kaplan). In African, terrorism is often linked to religious, new left, and separatist movements (Kaplan). While the Anarchist and Anticolonial waves may have influenced past movements in Africa, the contemporary causes of terrorism in the region are primarily religious and new left (Kaplan). In my belief, there is no single cause of terrorism in Africa, but rather a complex interplay of factors including political, economic, and social grievances. The common thread among modern causes of terrorism in Africa is the pursuit of political or ideological goals through violence, often in response to perceived injustices. Africa has been influenced by external linkages, ideologies, and technology available to both state and non-state actors (Reid). The evolution of information technology, including social media, has also impacted the capabilities and tactics of terrorist groups in Africa. Modern terrorism in Africa has been characterized by different strategic goals, including anarchism, anti-colonialism, and religious extremism, reflecting the diverse motivations of terrorist actors (Reid).

                                              Work Cited

Kaplan, Jeffrey. "Waves of Political Terrorism." n.d. https://oxfordre.com/politics/display/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-24.

Reid, Richard. "Terrorism in African History."  Cambridge University Press. n.d.

HSE 460: European Union

Response #1 (Ariel): Europeanization refers to the process of European countries integrating economically, politically, and socially. It involves the harmonization of laws, policies, and regulations across countries, as well as the promotion of shared values, culture, and identity. Europeanization is often seen as a way to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in Europe. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 had a significant impact on the development of Europe and the European Union. Here are some ways in which it affected Europe:

1. End of the Cold War: The fall of the Soviet Union marked the end of the Cold War, a period of tension and conflict between the Western world and the Soviet bloc. This led to a decrease in military spending and a shift in focus towards economic development.

2. Increased economic integration: The fall of the Soviet Union led to the creation of the European Union, which promoted economic integration and cooperation between countries in Europe. This led to increased trade, investment, and economic growth in the region.

3. Political cooperation: The fall of the Soviet Union also led to increased political cooperation between European countries. This resulted in the creation of the European Union, which aimed to promote peace, stability, and democracy in Europe

Response #2 (Patrick): Europeanization is the influence of the European Union and its member states in the interactions within and between member states of the European Union. Europeanization can affect main areas within the region such as domestic politics and policies that further affect citizens and businesses. The fall of the Soviet Union definitely had a significant impact on the development of Europe and the European Union. When the Soviet Union fell, Europe experienced political changes, economic transformation, and influenced security dynamics. The fall of the Soviet Union led to the independence of several Soviet republics which then changed the political landscape of Eastern Europe. These newly formed nations, led to political alliances reconfiguration of their plans and actions. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to former soviet countries transitioning from centrally planned economies to market based systems. The end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union led to the withdrawal of Soviet military forces in Eastern Europe. This military withdrawal led to the reconfiguration of security arrangements, including the expansion of NATO. 

HSE 450: Individual and Cultural Perspectives of Terrorism Radicalization

Response #1 (Johnathan): Radicalization impacts terrorism in a wide variety of ways. Firstly, radicalization can cause individuals to adopt a violent ideology which in turn might lead these individuals to carry out terrorist attacks. These terrorist attacks could be carried out in the name of a certain group or just because the individual agrees with a group's beliefs and ideologies while having no known link to them a term known as lone wolf terrorists. Additionally, radicalization can make an individual vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist organizations. Radicalization is accomplished by terrorist groups in a variety of ways one such way is through social media and the internet by sharing their propaganda and their ideology they ultimately pose a threat of encouraging others to join them or carry out attacks for their cause. 

Culture plays a huge role in terrorism. Additionally, in some cases, culture can be the very justification for terrorism. For example, Osama Bin Laden had the belief that his attacks on American civilians were genuinely defensive acts due to the degrading, humiliating, and punishing of Muslims. This example paints a clear picture of how terrorism is different among different cultures. There is a saying that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. In Osama Bin Laden's eyes, he was justified in his actions because of what he was fighting for however, in our eyes he was a terrorist. Everyone has contrasting views, beliefs, and values, and unfortunately, there are some groups that are willing to carry out horrendous acts due to their beliefs, values, and beliefs. Therefore every culture and every nation will have differing opinions on what exactly constitutes terrorism.

Works Cited

The “War” on Terrorism: A Cultural Perspective. (n.d.). https://ciaotest.cc.columbia.edu/olj/cceia/cceia_1601gef01.html

Kkienerm. (n.d.-a).  Counter-terrorism module 2 key issues: Radicalization & Violent extremism. Counter-Terrorism Module 2 Key Issues: Radicalization & Violent Extremism. https://www.unodc.org/e4j/zh/terrorism/module-2/key-issues/radicalization-violent-extremism.html#:~:text=Some%20commentators%20have%20suggested%20that,(Romaniuk%2C%202015%2C%20pp.

Response #1 (William): Different views for what is deemed as terrorism depend on an individual perspective and a cultural perspective. Cultural perspectives of terrorism depend on the shared beliefs of a certain culture, and largely has to do with religion. For example, some Muslim cultures in the Middle East view the United States as the terrorists who are occupying its countries, destroying their holy sites, and killing their people. Another example of this is when the United States was attacked on 9/11. The United States viewed these attacks as terrorism, but many Muslims took to the streets in the Middle East to celebrate the attacks. Some historical examples of terrorism are the bombings conducted by the IRA, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the Chechens attacking Russian schools. Radicalization impacts terrorism by causing people's views to become more radical over time, which leads to more severe attacks against innocent people. (Taylor & Swanson, 2018) 

Reference 

Taylor, R. W., & Swanson, C. R. (2018). Terrorism, Intelligence and Homeland Security (2nd ed.). Pearson Education (US). https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9780134818245