Al-Qaeda Versus the War on Terror :A Study on Psychological and Economic Causal Factors

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Addis Ababa University


Enquiring why terrorism occurs is an endeavour to identify the causes and a ‘root cause’ or at least ‘root causes’ of the phenomenon. More importantly, it is also about identifying the causation or causal analysis, the way in which the cause-events or cause-state of affairs are linked with one another and with the effect-event or effect-state of affair, i.e. terrorism. This research thesis, “Al Qaeda versus the War on Terror: A Study on Psychological and Economic Causal Factors”, is a qualitative and descriptive analysis of the psychological and economic causation of terrorism. The research aims at scrutinizing whether psychological or economic causes can avoid the other from causing terrorism and become the sole causes of terrorism by themselves, as it is claimed by primarily 1 economic or primarily psychological cause-causation. Plus, it aims at scrutinizing whether temporal precedence or causal power matters more in the causation of terrorism and whether economic and psychological factors apply their causal power to yield terrorism on the geographic space or on the ’mind’ entity. The research disagrees with primary-cause and chain of causes-causation. To assert that psychological or economic factors are the sole causes of terrorism or that they first cause one another and then cause terrorism based on temporal precedence is unnatural for two reasons. Firstly, this delinks the emotionality and rationality, the purposiveness and motivation as well as the need for material and non-material gains within a single causeagent of terrorism (the individual terrorist or the group terrorist as unified by group think and sense of belongingness to the group). Secondly, this disregards the fact that psychological and economic factors can cause terrorism without being correlated or related on the basis of temporal precedence, but on the basis of causal power. Therefore, the central argument of this thesis is for simultaneous causation of terrorism by psychological and economic factors applying their causal power on the single entity (‘space’) of the mind within a point of time. 1 Key words: Causation, Chain of causes causation, primarily economic causation, primarily psychological causation, simultaneous Causation, Terrorism



Primarily Economic Causation, Simultaneous Causation, Chain of Causes Causation, Primarily Psychological Terrorism