NSSR Philosophy Workshop - Efrain Lazos (UNAM, Mexico City/ MIT, Cambridge) -The Varieties of Terrorism: A Contemporary Interrogation

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The Varieties of Terrorism: A Contemporary Interrogation


Despite its evident and widespread presence in all societies, contemporary discourse about terrorism suffers from a fatal relativism that blocks serious public discussion. On the one hand, many are still convinced that state agents can never perform acts of terrorist violence―by definition, given that state agents have the monopoly of legitimate violence. On the other, agents portrayed as terrorists typically describe their violent acts as military actions, and consequently demand to be treated as combatants rather than as terrorists. This relativism is reflected in the inability of the U.N. to reach a definition of terrorism that can be accepted by all its members. It is worthwhile to ask anew, What is terrorism? Under what conditions can we call a violent act a terrorist act? Is terrorism always a form of political violence? This talk will consider these questions, and others, with a view from philosophy. 



6 E 16 St Room 1103

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

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