In the midst of an age of terror and counter-terror, this article seeks to better understand the current moment of terror by comparing and contrasting moments and epochs of terror throughout history. The paper asks: What do we mean by terror? How is it described, measured and experienced? Is the post-September 11 phenomenon something altogether new? Is the current terrorist threat unprecedented? To address these questions the paper explores the phenomenon which makes terrorism and terrorists possible: the very idea of terror itself. The paper identifies and joins some of the dots between terrors past and terrors present, from the terror of tyranny and totalitarianism to the terror of contemporary fundamentalist terrorism. In doing so it sheds light on how terror is conceived both as a tool and as something that is experienced. The paper raises questions of how or if the experience of terror has shifted across time and space. Ultimately, the paper seeks a better understanding of the current moment of terror and a better idea of what the future holds in store through a more holistic understanding of the experiences of terror(s) throughout the ages.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|