Aim of the research

The aim of the project unTERROR is to develop a research methodology based on two philosophical schools: on the Huserl’s ideas on experience and lifeworld and on the Gadamer’s philosophy of understanding and interpretation. This methodology will be a novel and original research approach in terrorism studies. The scientific purpose of this project is to develop basic principles of methodology and to translate these ideas into a set of research guidelines and milestones. Currently terrorism studies in whole are mostly focused on terrorism as and objectively researchable fact and applies a description of terrorism as a political or military phenomenon. However, there is a fundamental lack of understanding of terrorism, which looks at it as a meaningful phenomenon with its ideological, cultural and historical background. Consequently, the project unTERROR will deal with terrorism from different viewpoint: not so much as a violence against the bodies of the victims, but against the lifeworld of these victims, the environment as a meaningful, value-building context.

Project’s objectives

The project has 3 tasks that will be carried out in three consecutive phases.

  1. The first task is the development of a theoretical justification for phenomenologically hermeneutical methodology.
  2. The second task is to analyse propaganda articles made by terrorist actors.
  3. The third task is to develop a model of phenomenologically hermeneutical methodology, as well as practical recommendations for policy makers and decision-makers in counter-terrorism services.

The main scientific result of the study will be 3 scientific articles.

Other results: recommendations for decision-makers, presentations in conferences and seminars, and a number of popular articles. In the framework of this industrial study, a methodological instrument will be established, which will not only be an important step forward in terrorism research but also contribute to the practical efforts to combat terrorism. The novelty and originality of the project is the development of a new, theoretical and evidence-based methodology based on phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics.

Latvian State Education Development Agency Post-Doctoral Research Aid project “Understanding Terror: Phenomenological-Hermeneutical Methodology for Terrorism Studies” (

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Pēcdoktorantūras pētniecības projekts unTERROR