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Controversies on the Definition of Terrorism Essay

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Since the beginning of its existence terrorism itself, as well as its application had been arousing many controversies. The definition of terrorism has not been clearly established since the times this expression was used for the first time in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, its meaning has been transforming through the decades together with new ideologies, technologies, such as invention of dynamite, nuclear weapons and appearance of new terrorist techniques – blackmail and bloody suicides’ attacks. Currently, in the era of globalization, it is even more difficult to identify terrorist groups, as they appear to cooperate with each other and modify their internal structures. The fact that terrorism is diverse and differs depending on the organization or the region brings troubles with defining it too. Moreover, appointing certain events as acts of terrorism can be highly relative. For example, can Korean Independence Movement struggling for freedom in March 1919 be called an act of terrorism? International community proved in 1982 it is impossible (or rather inappropriate), as it was an act of fight against imperial Japan’s occupation and colonization. Thus, when the Ministry of Education of Japan allegedly revised textbooks in 1982 and called Korean independent movements “riots” , Chinese, Korean and other authorities officially recognized it as impermissible and Japanese government had to make public apologies .
Various international organizations define terrorism differently. United Nations , the European Union and the United States have worked out their own legally valid definitions of terrorism, adjusting them to their own needs and policies. It is true, taking into account currently worldwide accepted criteria of ...


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3. Demris Ovid, Brothers in blood. The international terrorist network, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1977.
4. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Academic edition: http://search.eb.com.eres.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/
5. Federal Criminal Code, 18 U.S.C.§2331: US Code, section 2331: definitions Find Law: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/113B/2331
6. Johnson Chalmers, The patterns of Japanese relations with China, 1952-1982, in: “Pacific Affairs”, vol. 59, no. 3 (Autumn 1986), University of British Columbia, p. 421.
7. Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Ki’ichi Miyazawa on History Textbooks, August 26, 1982. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/state8208.html
8. UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004): http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N04/542/82/PDF/N0454282.pdf?OpenElement



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