An analytical history of terrorism, 1945–2000
WILLIAM F. SHUGHART II
Department of Economics, The University of Mississippi, P. O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-
1848 USA; email@example.com
Abstract. This paper traces the history of modern terrorism from the end of the Second World
War to the beginning of the twenty-first century. It divides that history into three stylized waves:
terrorism in the service of national liberation and ethnic separatism, left-wing terrorism, and
Islamist terrorism. Adopting a constitutional political economy perspective, the paper argues that
terrorism is rooted in the artificial nation-states created during the interwar period and suggests
solutions grounded in liberal federalist constitutions and, perhaps, new political maps for the
Middle East, Central Asia and other contemporary terrorist homelands.
Keywords: Terrorism; national liberation; ethnic separatism; left-wing terrorism; Islamist
terrorism; rational choice; constitutional political economy.
That could very well have happened, because what did not happen back then?
— Fyodor Dostoevsky ( 1994, p. 3)
On the morning of 8 May 1945 most of the world was celebrating V.E. Day. The boulevards of
Paris, London and New York were filled to overflowing with jubilant crowds awakening to news
that the Nazis had capitulated at long last. So, too, were the streets of the Algerian market town
of Sétif, where the colons were gathering to join in spirit their compatriots in metropolitan
France rejoicing in the ending of the mother country’s five-year-long nightmare of ignominious
defeat, occupation, collaboration, and massive destruction at the hands of the liberating Allied
forces (Horne 1977, p. 23).
Marching toward Sétif’s monument aux morts, where they intended lay a commemorative
wreath, the colons were confronted by a Muslim mob pouring in from the outskirts of town with
something altogether different in mind. Some 8000 strong,...