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Title: Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” : an analysis of IS
Authors: Atanasova, Victoria (2021)
Keywords: Sunzi, active 6th century B.C. Sunzi bing fa
Military art and science -- Early works to 1800
Terrorism -- Prevention
IS (Organization)
Human behavior
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: Atanasova, V. (2021). Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” : an analysis of IS (Bachelor’s dissertation).
Abstract: This research discussed the phenomenon of terrorism by combining a military strategic school of thought and criminology. In present days, criminologists have contributed to counter-terrorism studies with applied theories of violence, aggression and crime, just to name a few. This work, however, approached terrorism through a different perspective. It introduces the ancient Chinese military treatise “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu in an analysis of a terrorist organisation known as Islamic State (IS). The researcher engaged with one of the factors (Discipline) from Tzu’s work through the conceptual model ‘Differential Association Reinforcement Theory’ by Burgess and Akers (1966/2021). The aim was to investigate whether discipline played a sustaining role for IS’s ideology. The data used in this research was fully desk-based, and thus, the research design was qualitative. The methods derived from the integrative literature review approach wherein a body of literature was synthetised to offer a comprehensive framework. The findings, subsequently, showed a high suggestibility that discipline instils IS’s ideology through the concept of obeying a code of behaviour (group behaviour). The author linked the code of behaviour to a reward-punishment system wherein a desired behaviour is rewarded, whereas an intolerable one is punished. Notably, ideology in the project was discussed as a set of ideas (beliefs) that influence a behaviour. Therefore, discipline conditions the set of ideas. The reason to select Tzu’s work was because the treatise has been already applied in different academic contexts, including counterterrorism, but it has not been scrutinised by criminologists. However, the author argues that criminology can contribute to the body of knowledge and offer an understanding of the importance of Tzu’s work when analysing terrorist organisations.
Description: B.A. (Hons) Criminology(Melit.)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2021
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2021

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