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Justification of war and terrorism: a comparative case study examining ethical positions based on prescriptive attribution theory

Die Rechtfertigung von Krieg und Terrorismus: eine vergleichende Fallstudie ethischer Positionen auf der Grundlage der präskriptiven Attributionstheorie
[research report]

Witte, Erich H.; Halverscheid, Susanne

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Corporate Editor Universität Hamburg, Fak. für Erziehungswissenschaft, Psychologie und Bewegungswissenschaft, FB Psychologie, Arbeitsbereich Sozialpsychologie
Abstract "The aim of this study is to examine the underlying ethical positions of statements that try to justify acts of war and terrorism. Similarities and differences will be analyzed within the framework of empirical ethics research. With respect to the current political situation, examples of war and terror from both Western and Arabian parties and terrorist organizations are chosen. The cases are exemplified by selected speeches and explanations from (1) the American Government justifying the military strikes in Afghanistan (2001- ) and the war in Iraq (2003- ); (2) the Red Army Faction (RAF) justifying terrorist attacks that they perpetrated in Germany between 1972 and 1984; (3) the former president of Iraq justifying the war against Iran (1980-1988); (4) members of Al-Qaeda justifying terrorist acts between 2001 and 2004. In a first rating procedure, statements containing justifications of politically motivated violence will be identified based upon argumentation analysis. The selected statements will then be rated in a second process in regard to the underlying ethics. The justification patterns will be presented, compared, and discussed in respect to the interaction of culture and type of aggression. The results illustrate distinctive argumentation patterns for each group examined. The inference-statistical comparison reveals significant differences between the types of aggression as well as between Western and Arabian countries, whereas the cultural factor proves to be more essential." (author's abstract)
Keywords attribution theory; war; terrorism; ethics; value; value-orientation; value system; value judgement
Classification Social Psychology; Philosophy, Ethics, Religion
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; theory application
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
City Hamburg
Page/Pages 28 p.
Series Hamburger Forschungsberichte zur Sozialpsychologie (HaFoS), 70
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne