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    Terrorism could be regarded as an extreme type of (violent) criminal behaviour. Against this background, there is much to gain if criminological attention would be extended to terrorism. In this overview, the authors describe how and to what extent criminological theories may provide a significant contribution to underlying causes of terrorism. Previous criminological contributions to the field of terrorism have primarily taken a theory-extended approach, including routine activity theory, rational choice theory and strain theory. However, so far such studies lacked empirical data. Further, to this day, not much is known about the empirical applicability of other criminological theories, including desistance theories, which warrant particular attention. In order for criminology literature to contribute effectively to our understanding of terrorism and to pursue better counter-terrorism policies, empirical evidence should first be obtained. In this way, terrorism researchers, in close collaboration with criminologists, can deepen our theoretical and empirical understanding of this relatively underexplored field.


Marieke Liem
M. Liem is universitair hoofddocent aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Edwin Bakker
E. Bakker is hoogleraar terrorisme en contraterrorisme aan de Universiteit Leiden en hoofd kennis en onderzoek aan de Politieacademie.
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