Title

Rationality Wars and the War on Terror: Explaining Terrorism and Social Unrest

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Source

American Anthropologist

Volume

109

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

318-329

ISBN/ISSN

00027294

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Terrorism is problematic at multiple levels. Social scientists debate its cause; policymakers debate what to do about it; many debate the meaning and political use of the term; and many live in fear of it. Current explanations of terrorism hinge on competing models of decision making. Anthropologists are increasingly influential in decision theory as issues of rationality, culture, and evolutionary psychology are invoked to explain patterns in human decision making. In this article, I review and critique current explanations of terrorism, I relate these explanations to larger debates in decision theory and anthropology, and I present an example of how current schisms may be transcended.

Keywords

kuzner, terrorism, war on terror

Disciplines

Anthropology

 
 

Link to Original Published Item

http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2007.109.2.318