Research Approaches to Terrorism: A Way Forward for New Zealand

Authors: Barnett, E. & Nelson, N. R.

Published in National Security Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2019


The study of contemporary terrorism is a complex issue that has been largely neglected as an academic pursuit in New Zealand. This, however, is likely to change following the tragic events in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. But how is this new research best undertaken? This article compares two key approaches to researching terrorism: the traditional, or orthodox, approach; and the critical terrorism studies approach. While each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, this article posits that more productive interaction between government agencies and academics will allow both approaches to be pursued which, in turn, offers the opportunity to more effectively address the threat that terrorism poses to New Zealand in both the short and the long term.

Keywords: New Zealand, Terrorism, Research, Traditional Terrorism Studies, Orthodox Terrorism Studies, Critical Terrorism Studies

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