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‘I did my bit’: Terrorism, Tarde and the Vehicle-Ramming Attack as an Imitative Event

Miller, Vincent, Hayward, Keith (2019) ‘I did my bit’: Terrorism, Tarde and the Vehicle-Ramming Attack as an Imitative Event. British Journal of Criminology, 59 (1). pp. 1-23. ISSN 0007-0955. E-ISSN 1464-3529. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azy017) (KAR id:67097)

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This paper charts the rise in prevalence of ramming attacks and how this wave of attacks challenges many of the assumptions and approaches we have about terrorism, its causes, and policies to address it. Such approaches tend to concentrate on either the ‘psychology’ of individual terrorists, or wider structural issues, such as religious ideology and the role of terrorist organisations in converting and recruiting people to violence. This paper will take a different approach, one which focusses less on structure and individual psychology, and more on the act itself, as something that is not merely an expression of an individual or an ideology, but something that has a lure and force of its own, as something that travels through our contemporary mediascape, to be internalised and imitated by an increasingly varied set of subjects with varying motivations, psychologies, ideologies and circumstances.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/bjc/azy017
Uncontrolled keywords: Terrorism; Vehicle Ramming Attacks; Tarde; Contagion; (Crime) Waves; Affect
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV9069 Juvenile delinquency
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Vince Miller
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 09:02 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:54 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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