Carolin Goerzig. Talking to Terrorists: Concessions and the Renunciation of Violence. Reviewed by: Scott Nicholas Romaniuk

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk



“Talking to terrorists remains a taboo” (Goerzig, 2010: p. 125). The adoption and reinforcement of such a moral position by many Western and non-Western governments alike has played no small role in, to a large extent, states to contain the violence and insecurity bred by terror activist in the post-Cold war and post-9/11 periods. Yet, few policymakers seem to recognize the danger in building political and social environments in which dialogue between states and terrorist groups and organizations is little more than depravity or even a betrayal to entire populations. To be sure, the protection of civilian populations has been entrusted to states that might otherwise learn better means of terrorism deterrence if lines of communication between states and terrorists were less constrained. The taboo of which Carolin Goerzig speaks, is one that “has been institutionalized in a legal framework in which … academics are being asked to report on their students and in which attempting to understand the subjectivities of ‘terrorist’ suspects could be interpreted as a ‘glorification of terrorism’” (Jackson quoted in Goerzig, 2010: p. 125).

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