Terrorism - Research Guide International Law

The adoption of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism by the League of Nations in 1937 marked the entrance of terrorism in the field of international law. The present-day international legal framework for the prevention and combatting of terrorism started in the 1960’s with the adoption of the 1963 Convention on Offences and certain other Acts committed on Board Aircraft. This framework now consists of various multilateral treaties and protocols relating to specific categories of terrorist acts as well as several regional conventions on international terrorism in general. However, a comprehensive multilateral convention on terrorism is still lacking. This is mainly due to the continuing lack of agreement within the United Nations on a common definition of international terrorism.

This Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Terrorism. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s systematic index code, i.e., 250a  and the keyword Terrorism are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Online publications released during January/February 2015

Price, Eric, “Bibliography: Foreign Fighters of Terrorism”, Perspectives on Terrorism, 9 (February 2015), No. 1.

Cesluk-Grajewski, Marcin, EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy (February 2015), EPRS Strategy for European Parliamentary Research Service.
Abstract: The attack in Paris and subsequent events in Belgium and Denmark, has prompted a debate in the European Union on strengthening its counter-terrorism strategy. This note offers links to a selection of recent commentaries and analyses by major international think-tanks and research institutes which analyse …

Bigo, D. et al., “The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy Responses to the Attacks in Paris: Towards an EU Security and Liberty Agenda” (February 2015), in Justice and Home Affairs, Liberty and Security in Europe Papers, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), 2015.
Abstract: This paper examines the main EU-level initiatives that have been put forward in the weeks following the attacks in Paris in January 2015, which will be discussed in the informal European Council meeting of 12 February 2015. It argues that a majority of these proposals predated the Paris shootings and had until that …

Roach, Kent, and Craig Forcese, “Bill C-51 Backgrounder #1: The New Advocating or Promoting Terrorism Offence” (February 2015), Working Paper.
Abstract: In Bill C-51, the Canadian government wants to jail people who, by speaking, written, recording, gesturing or through other visible representations, knowingly advocate or promote the commission of terrorism offences in general, while aware of the possibility that the offences may be committed. This …

European Parliamentary Research Service, Foreign Fighters and European Responses (January 2015).
Abstract: In the light of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015, the spotlight has fallen on the phenomenon of foreign fighters. These radicalised citizens of EU member states pose a threat to security, having been trained to fight and hardened against Western values in the war zones of Syria and Iraq. …

Filote, Andra, et al., “Suicide Attacks and Religious Cleavages” (January 2015), CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5179.
Abstract: Many experts claim that the incidence of suicide attacks is driven by religious cleavages. To test this hypothesis, we investigate whether the total number of suicide attacks per violent conflict or the annual number of suicide attacks per country is associated with simmering religious conflicts. We distinguish …

Chung, Alex, “A Comparative Security Analysis of Human Rights and Terrorism” (January 2015). International Studies Association (ISA) 56th Annual Conference 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA,18-21 February 2015.
Abstract: In the post 9/11 geopolitical landscape, “conventional wisdom holds that governments reactively restrict rights to forestall additional attacks…to more effectively pursue suspected terrorists.” Terrorism violates the fundamental human rights of its victims to life, liberty, security, and dignity of the individual. In …

Vermeulen, Mathias, “Assessing Counter-Terrorism as a Matter of Human Rights: Perspectives from the European Court of Human Rights” (January 2015), in F. De Londras and J. Doody (eds.) The Impact, Legitimacy and Effectiveness of EU Counter-Terrorism, London, Routledge, 2015, Forthcoming.
Abstract: This paper will analyze (a) how the European Court of Human Rights has assessed the compatibility of European counter-terrorism measures with the European Convention of Human Rights in order to determine the impact of counter-terrorism measures, and (b) the extent to which this Court has taken into account …

Skillicorn, David, “Empirical Assessment of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Taliban Propaganda” (January 2015), Working Paper.
Abstract: The jihadist groups AQAP, ISIS, and the Taliban have all produced glossy English magazines designed to influence Western sympathizers. We examine these magazines empirically with respect to models of the intensity of informative, imaginative, deceptive, jihadist, and gamification language. This allows their success …

Forcese, Craig, and Ani Mamikon, “Neutrality Law, Anti-Terrorism and Foreign Fighters: Legal Solutions to the Recruitment of Canadians to Foreign Insurgencies” (January 2015), University of British Columbia Law Review, Forthcoming.
Abstract: This article discusses legal strategies for dealing with the “foreign fighter” problem – that is, Canadians travelling to participate in foreign insurgencies. It reviews the empirical literature in an effort to define the scope and policy importance of “foreign fighters”. It then examines comparative legal strategies …



Tagged with:


Reference works




Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

Updated every Friday morning.

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on Terrorism and related subjects.

Seems like there are no recent acquisitions right now.

Librarian's choice

These publications are selected for you by .

  • Zusman, L, (ed.), The Fundamentals of Counterrorism Law, Chicago, IL, American Bar Association, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, 2014.

    Zusman, L, (ed.), The Fundamentals of Counterrorism Law, Chicago, IL, American Bar Association, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, 2014.

    The Fundamentals of Counterterrorism Law dives into the basic legal framework surrounding the many parts of dealing with terrorism – covering such critical topics of international investigations, national security law, ethics, privatization, drones, cyberterrorism and much more. Written by experts in the field of terrorism, the authors offer an astounding view into the current laws and justification for the governmental responses stemming from the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
  • Saul, B. (ed.), Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014. Showcase item

    Saul, B. (ed.), Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014

    This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
  • Wagstaff, R.H., Terror Detentions and the Rule of Law: US and UK Perspectives, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    R.H. Wagstaff, Terror Detentions and the Rule of Law: US and UK Perspectives, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States and the United Kingdom detained suspected terrorists in a manner incompatible with the due process, fair trial, and equality requirements of the rule of law. The legality of the detentions was challenged and found wanting by the highest courts in both the US and UK. The US courts approached these questions as matters within the law of war, whereas the UK courts examined these questions within a human rights criminal law context. The analytical focus of the author is on the four US Supreme Court decisions involving detentions in Guantanamo Bay and four House of Lords decisions involving detentions that began in the Belmarsh Prison. These decisions are analyzed within the contexts of history, criminal law, constitutional law, human rights and international law, and various jurisprudential perspectives. In this book Dr. Wagstaff argues that time-tested criminal law is the normatively correct and most effective means for dealing with suspected terrorists. He also suggests that preventive, indefinite detention of terrorist suspects upon suspicion of wrongdoing contravenes the domestic and international rule of law, treaties and customary international law. As such, new legal paradigms for addressing terrorism are shown to be normatively invalid, illegal, unconstitutional, counter-productive, and in conflict with the rule of law.

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
  • Setty, S. (ed.), Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law, New York, International Debate Educational Association, 2014.

    Setty, S. (ed.), Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law, New York, International Debate Educational Association, 2014.

    Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law offers diverse international perspectives on the way in which the rule of law shifts in times of emergency or heightened security. It addresses individual rights issues within the context of questioning how government works and ought to work in light of serious security concerns, thereby enabling readers to understand how national security concerns have distorted constitutions and impinged on human and civil rights. Five thematic sections examine: 1. How different constitutional structures deal with security concerns 2. What part of government controls security measures 3. What constraints supranational and international law place on individual nations when it comes to security 4. What the public has a right to know in times of heightened security 5. What rights the public can exercise in times of heightened security and how citizens can hold government accountable for protecting these rights.

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
  • Chermak, S.M, and J.D. Freilich (eds.), Transnational Terrorism, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    Chermak, S.M, and J.D. Freilich (eds.), Transnational Terrorism, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    The dramatic terrorist attacks of 9/11 highlighted significant gaps in research on the topic as governments, community groups, social service agencies and law enforcement agencies were forced to respond without any evidence-based guidance on best practices for tactics, strategies, and policy development. The essays selected for this volume demonstrate that transnational terrorism is now a thriving area of study and display the breadth and depth of scholarship that has recently been published. The research draws attention to global patterns of transnational terrorism; highlights various structural and cultural explanations; provides an overview of some of the ways that terrorism impacts society; and discusses strategies used to effectively respond to transnational terrorism. This volume, which is of interest to academics, policymakers and practitioners, provides a repository of some of the best contemporary research in this field..

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
  • Beekarry, N. (ed.), Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance: Past and Current Challenges, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.

    Beekarry, N. (ed.), Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance: Past and Current Challenges, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.

    This book addresses the broader legal, policy and regulatory issues confronting the international community in its search for effective methodologies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. New threats must always be met with new regulatory approaches. Alongside an original introduction to the area, which also addresses the 2012 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the editor has selected key papers assessing the task, including work examining the recent shift from a rule-based to a risk-based approach. This volume is an major source of reference for anyone interested in this dynamic field.

    View this title in our link resolver Plinklet



  • Nuclear security: Dangers and Achievements

    Nuclear security is generally accepted to mean “the prevention of, detection of, and response to, criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities, or associated activities”. In short it is about preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive material or attacking nuclear facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, nuclear security concerns have been heightened, but how real is the danger and what are the legal instruments to combat nuclear terrorism?

    Read more
  • Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Bauer: Rendition, Torture and the Demise of American Values

    The latest in a series of Hollywood productions which reopened a debate about torture and extraordinary rendition is Zero Dark Thirty. Real life variations of Hollywood-scenarios have been unfolding as the US government has engaged in a program of extraordinary rendition since the Clinton Administration and which became widespread under the Bush Administration following the September 11 terrorist attacks.This blog examines Obama’s policy towards torture and (extraordinary) rendition.

    Read more
  • Colombia: At Last Peace with the FARC?

    Columbia’s fourth attempt at peace with the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) started formally last month in Oslo and will continue the 15th of November in Havana, Cuba. The earlier attempts- starting in 1984, 1990 and 1998- to end one of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest armed conflict all failed. Why would the outcome of the peace talks this time be different?

    Read more
  • New Institute for Counter-terrorism in the Hague

    Three Hague-based organizations, T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism of the University of Leiden/Campus Den Haag and the Dutch Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, announced to join forces to set up an independent institute that will contribute to the study and policy-making in the field of counter-terrorism. The institute is financed by [...]

    Read more
  • International Conference on Afghanistan, The Hague, 31 March 2009

    On 31 March 2009, the Dutch government is hosting the ´International Conference on Afghanistan: a Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context´ at the World Forum in The Hague.

    Building on the achievements of previous Conferences in Bonn, London and Paris, this Conference should reaffirm the solid and long-term commitment of the international community to [...]

    Read more
  • Hostages rescued in Colombia

    Terrorism in the jungle. Colombian armed forces rescued 15 hostages, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Ms Betancourt was held prisoner for six years in the Colombian jungle.

    Read more

See also

More Research guides on International Criminal Law

PPL keywords

Other suggestions

Map with locations of use of this guide

(experimental, updated every hour. works best in IE 11, Chrome, Firefox)

Comments are closed.