Between the Fourth and Fifth Waves: The Evolution of Modern Terrorism


Assuming that the third decade of the 21st century is a transition period between the fourth and fifth waves of terrorism, in accordance with D.C. Rapoport’s concept of cyclicity of terrorism, the article focuses on the evolution of modern terrorism. The main features of the four waves of terrorism identified so far are presented sequentially. Then, reasons for initiating the decline of the fourth wave are identified and the perspectives for the constitution of the fifth wave of terrorism are explored. In the first section of the article, referring to the definition of terrorism and based on D.C. Rapoport’s concept of waves of modern terrorism, we demonstrate the determining factors, characteristics and elements which constitute this phenomenon. In the subsequent sections, we seek answers to the following questions: What are the characteristic features of the previous four waves of terrorism? What factors are leading to the decline of the fourth wave of terrorism? Which characteristics of the fourth wave of terrorism may be taken over by the next wave? What are the concepts of the fifth wave of modern terrorism? Research methods and techniques appropriate for the field of social sciences, particularly political science, are used in the study.

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Opublikowane : 2022-10-28

Czornik, K., & Szynol, M. (2022). Between the Fourth and Fifth Waves: The Evolution of Modern Terrorism. Studia Polityczne, 50(2), 139-162.

Katarzyna Czornik
Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach  Polska
Monika Szynol 
Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach  Polska

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