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Members' Book Review - Beyond Terror

beyond terror

Beyond Terror: The Truth About the Real Threats to Our World

Abbot, C., Rogers, P. & Sloboda, J. - Rider Publishers, 2007

Reviewed by Cultivate Member, Claire Shellshear 

If you’ve ever felt the “War on Terror” was wrong but not been able to put a finger on why or what to do, this is the book for you. In simple and very clear terms, the book sets out demonstrate that the current method of dealing with terrorism is not only failing but is also highly counterproductive. It shows that by focusing on the threat of terrorism and responding to it through military means, we are both ignoring the more important problems and exacerbating terrorism.

Instead, the book calls for a major rethink of current policy and for a global and urgent response to the real security issues we face including climate change, competition over resources, marginalisation of the majority of the world and global militarisation. It aims to educate the reader on these key issues and to demonstrate how they are interlinked with each other and to some extent to the root causes of terrorism. In concluding, the book urges the reader to action by providing a number of practical options and resources. The book’s three authors are highly qualified and work with the Oxford Research Group on sustainable security, considered to be one of the UK’s leading lobal security think tanks.

For those well read on the subject, the book will not describe novel concepts or provide new resources and at times may seem oversimplified. However, it is an important read for people at all levels of understanding. This is because it covers four very different but important issues, and can almost certainly offer the reader new, well researched information to back up key concepts, and a different perspective on the challenges of our time. It is a highly accessible and concise book, with case studies and chapter summaries breaking up the text and totalling less than 100 pages.

Beyond Terror confirmed my theories about the root causes of terrorism and the issues we should be prioritising. As well as a good read, I would consider it useful as a reference book. I would be fairly well informed on these subects, as an interested individual, a chemical engineer working in the environmental sector, and a volunteer at sustainability centres Sonairte in Meath and Cultivate in Dublin.

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