Samir’s Selection 05/11/2015 (p.m.)

  • After the Middle Ages, such morally motivated self-help justice was replaced for the most part by rationally motivated criminal justice. Black notes, however, that when people do not trust the state’s justice system or believe it to be biased against them—or when people live in weak states with corrupt governments or in effectively stateless societies—they take the law into their own hands. Terrorism is one such activity, the expression of which, Black argues in a 2004 article in Sociological Theoryentitled “The Geometry of Terrorism,” is a form of self-help justice whose motives depend on the particular terrorist group. These have ranged from revolutionary Marxism in the 1970s to apocalyptic Islam today as practiced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (known as ISIS or ISIL), which is not a state at all but a loose confederation of jihadists.

    tags: terrorism justice injustice law protest psychology anger revenge justification

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