The State of Terror

By Annamarie Oliverio

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series in Deviance and Social Control
Paperback : 9780791437087, 189 pages, February 1998
Hardcover : 9780791437070, 189 pages, February 1998

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Table of contents


Part I. Introduction

1. Prologue

2. Writing the Script: Language, Hegemony, and Historical Interpretation

3. Setting the Stage: Foundations of Meaning for Terrorism

Part II. The Telling of Stories on Different Stages

4. (Re)Constructing the Event: The Achille Lauro Plot

5. (Re)Constructing the Event: The Hijacking of TWA 847

6. Props, Sets, Stunts: The Global Transmission of Reality

Part III. Conclusion: Themes, Messages, Reflections

7. Terrorism: The Art of Statecraft

8. Epilogue

by Pat Lauderdale





A comparative analysis of one of the most devastating social problems of the contemporary world. Focuses not only on acts of terrorism by terrorists, but with their portrayal and manipulation by others, particularly the media, for social and political purposes.

Annamarie Oliverio is Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University West.


"Annamarie Oliverio asks us to question many of our basic ideas about terrorism, the identity of terrorists, and the ways we have come to recognize terrorist activity. Oliverio offers a richly textured analysis of two events—the commandeering of TWA Flight 847 in 1985 and the taking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro a few months later. The author uses the double vision of one who stands in two cultures to analyze media descriptions of the events and their aftermath. Her analyses force us to rethink our understandings of what is 'known,' accepted, and familiar.

"Oliverio's work asks us to consider much more than the social and cultural contexts within which meanings are constructed. She asks us to consider the relationships among the construction of meaning, modern, i.e., national, legal systems, and state hegemony. This is a finely crafted political analysis of deviance rather than an exercise in textual analysis. Oliverio addresses an important and provocative issue and does so in a literate and highly readable style." — Henry A. Walker, Cornell University

"The most important aspect of this book is the bold and innovative way it examines what has become known to most of us as 'terrorism.' The theatrical metaphor, combined with a very thorough, credible, and persuasive cross-cultural perspective, give this book an unprecedented analytical depth, insight, and power. These are exactly the reasons why this analysis is so refreshingly important." — Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Hebrew University