Institute for the Study of Conflict/Terrorism Research

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N.B. This page relates to the Institute for the Study of Conflict’s terrorism related activities a separate page deals with the Institute for the Study of Conflict in general.


Although it covered all manner of protest and resistance to corporate and state power, ‘terrorism’ was a particular preoccupation of the Institute for the Study of Conflict from the offset. The Guardian reported on the Institute’s founding that it would monitor ‘revolutionary conflict’ and ‘survey terrorist activities’. [1]

Police and Army 'training'

By the early 1970's the British Army were bringing in outside experts in 'subversion' to extend their programme of political education, and ISC became involved. John Alderson, the director of the Bramshill Police College in 1972, asked ISC's Peter Janke to help the college develop a course on terrorism and counter-subversion. The ISC's "Manual on Counter-Insurgency" was developed and used at the Police College and elsewhere. [2] Janke stated in ISC documents that: ‘This would be the first time that policemen in this country were introduced to the idea that political terrorism grew out of the early stages of subversion and it was the responsibility of the police to detect these phases…’ [3]

Counterinsurgency

ISC’s founder and leading light Brian Crozier had written about terrorism long before setting up ISC in 1970. In 1959 he wrote an article entitled ‘The Anatomy of Terrorism’ published in The Nation in which he described Terrorism as the first stage of resistance – the second being guerrilla warfare and the third all out war. In the article Crozier discussed anti-colonial struggles or ‘insurrections’ in Algeria, Vietnam, Malaya, Cyprus, Iran, Palestine and the Suez Canal. [4] In 1960 he published The Rebels which again dealt with the issue of terrorism mainly from the perspective of counterinsurgency. [5] The field of terrorism studies only emerged later in the 1970s, but was indebted to the counter insurgency writers like Crozier.

Other counterinsurgency experts were also involved in ISC. Robert Thompson, who advised Nixon on counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam was reportedly involved from the offset, [6] and Richard Clutterbuck was also a member the 1970s. [7]

Publications

As head of ISC Crozier wrote an article entitled ‘Aid for Terrorism’ for ISC’s Annual of Power and Conflict 1973-1974. [8] In 1974 he also wrote ‘Transnational terrorism’ for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. [9]

In 1976 the prominent "terror expert" Paul Wilkinson authored an issue of ISC’s regular journal Conflict Studies entitled ‘Terrorism Versus Liberal Democracy’. [10] The theme developed by Wilkinson in the journal was expanded two years later in Terrorism and the Liberal State, [11] his most influential book and according to one study the third most influential in the field. [12]

A number of other issues of Conflict Studies covered the issue of terrorism. These included Libya’s Foreign Adventures (no. 41); Protest and Violence: The Police Response (no. 75); Terrorism: International Dimensions (no. 113); Diplomatic Immunities and State-Sponsored Terrorism (no. 164) Living with Terrorism: The Problem of Air Piracy (no. 184) Northern Ireland: An Anglo-Irish Dilemma? (no. 185) and Patterns of Protest in Western Europe (no. 189). [13]

In 1986 William Gutteridge edited Contemporary Terrorism on behalf of ISC. [14] Paul Wilkinson wrote the keynote opening chapter in the book.

Conferences

Crozier was a featured speaker at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism organised by the Jonathan Institute and held in July 1979. He "implied repeatedly that the Soviet Union was behind most, if not all, of the world's political unrest, including the troubles in Northern Ireland." [15]

On 13 November 1980 the Council of Europe held a terrorism conference in Strasbourg. According to The Guardian a secret session on security measures was held during the conference. It was attended by academics, policemen and politicians, but was “dominated” by the British "terror expert" Paul Wilkinson and the counter insurgency expert Richard Clutterbuck. [16] Clutterbuck was a former Council member of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, [17] which Wilkinson had recently joined. [18]

The session discussed “an international intelligence computer, a kind of Euro-MI5 and international commando squads.” [19] Clutterbuck and Wilkinson agreed on the computer proposal but not on Wilkinson’s proposal for “a central coordinating cell of half a dozen security and intelligence experts” to strengthen intelligence links between European states. [20] In addition to his proposals for “a small permanent European Commission to improve international co-ordinating”, Wilkinson also proposed SAS style “hostage rescue squads for other regions of the world”. [21]

Relaunch as Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism

In late 1989 ISC merged with Paul Wilkinson’s Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism to form the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (RISCT). Legally speaking RISCT was the same entity as the Institute for the Study of Conflict . The limited company of that name became the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism on 12 December 1989, and on the same day the charity of the same name amended its articles of association. [22]

The origins of the merger are not entirely clear, although Paul Wilkinson’s association with ISC went back over a decade. As noted above he authored an issue of Conflict Studies called Terrorism versus Liberal Democracy in 1976, and later wrote the keynote opening chapter in the 1986 book The New Terrorism (or The Contemporary Terrorism) which was edited by William Gutteridge for ISC. [23] He had also served as a member of ISC's Council of Management from 27 October 1980 to 26 May 1981. [24] A Times article published in 9 May 1989 (pre-dating ISC's relaunch), noted that Wilkinson already had an office at ISC's HQ. [25]

Resources, Notes

Resources

References

  1. ‘Conflict on what causes conflict.’ Guardian, 25 Aug. 1970. p. 5
  2. see Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  3. ‘How to win friends’, The Guardian, 16 July 1976
  4. Brian Crozier, ‘Anatomy of Terrorism’, The Nation, 21 March 1959, pp. 250-252
  5. Brian Crozier, The Rebels: A Study of Post-war Insurrections (London: Chatto & Windus, 1960)
  6. The Times, Saturday, Dec 12, 1970; pg. 10; Issue 58046; col E
  7. Notification of Change in Director or Secretary or in their Particulars, filed at Companies House on 19 September 1979
  8. cited in Alex Peter Schmid, A. J. Jongman, Michael Stohl, Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, & Literature (Transaction Publishers, 2005) p.153
  9. Brian Crozier, Transnational Terrorism (Gaithersburg, MD: International Association of Chiefs of Police, 1974
  10. Paul Wilkinson, ‘Terrorism Versus Liberal Democracy – The Problems of Response’ Conflict Studies, No. 76. London, Institute for the Study of Conflict
  11. Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State (London: Macmillan, 1977)
  12. Edna F. Reid, Hsinchun Chen, ‘Mapping the contemporary terrorism research domain’, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 65 (2007) 42–56
  13. Alex Peter Schmid, A. J. Jongman, Michael Stohl, Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, & Literature (Transaction Publishers, 2005) p.153
  14. William Gutteridge (ed.) (for the Institute for the Study of Conflict). Contemporary Terrorism (New York: Facts on File, 1986)
  15. Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  16. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  17. Notification of Change in Director or Secretary or in their Particulars, filed at Companies House on 19 September 1979
  18. Institute for the Study of Conflict Ltd, Extract from the Report by the Members of the Council of Management on the Accounts for the Year Ending 30th June 1981, filed at Companies House on 9 November 1981
  19. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  20. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  21. Paul Wilkinson, ‘Protecting innocents’, The Observer, 23 November 1980, p.12
  22. Extract from the Central Register of Charities maintained by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Removed Main Charity 261152
  23. William Gutteridge (ed.) The New Terrorism (London: Mansell, 1986)
  24. Company Accounts made up to 30 June 1981, filed at Companies House on 9 November 1982
  25. The article (William Greaves, ‘A thinking man's war’, The Times, 9 May 1989) does not refer specifically to the address of what it calls Wilkinson’s ‘London office’ but says it is based ‘within a few yards…of Carnaby Street’. Carnaby Street is adjacent to Golden Square where the Institute for the Study of Conflict was based at no. 12-12A.