The goal of unTERROR is to import phenomenological and hermeneutical tradition into terrorism studies. Theoretical and methodological basis of present-day CTS includes critical theory and Foucauldian discourse analysis, and among others ­– feminist, postcolonial, ethnographic, and visual analysis of terrorism. Stump recognizes critical realism, relationism, reflexivism, and logical positivism as four distinct methodological stances. Meanwhile OTS as the main TS branch are largely ruled by empiricists, but not necessarily positivists. However, application of phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics in TS is not fully explored both in methodological and thematic sense even more so because phenomenology of violence is well established.

Currently Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s and Paul Ricœur’s philosophical hermeneutics are frequently reinterpreted as a promising research methodology. Phenomenology, exempt from epoché and transcendental reduction, is applied to the scientific studies of religion, music, art, environmental philosophy (eco-phenomenology), public administration and management, psychology and psychiatry, medicine and even in the business and market-research. Smith’s interpretative phenomenological analysis is employed in the studies of health, sexuality, psychological distress and identity. Hermeneutics has for long evolved beyond the theory on text interpretation.

The import of phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics into TS, both OTS and CTS, would involve a conceptual shift. With reference to empiricism and positivism, OTS deals with terrorism primary in militaristic and secondly in political terms. With its roots in the IR studies, CTS maintains the framework of political theory. Hence, terrorism is primary understood as socio-political and then militaristic endeavour. Conversely, the phenomenological shift in the meaning of terrorism is characterized by a move to a terror as an existential condition. To paraphrase Husserl’s original motto: back to the terror itself! This aspect in the current state of TS is underexplored. Sloterdijk’s conclusion that “the 20th century will be remembered as the age whose essential thought consisted in targeting no longer the body, but the enemy’s environment”, i.e. attack on the environment not merely in the material or biological but in the complex sense of phenomenological life-world sets the tone of the unTERROR. In short, unTERROR finds itself in the currently underexplored niche in TS by raising the topic of phenomenological and hermeneutic exploration of terror.

Previous research:

In the Crossfire of Terrorism: Islamic State


The book “In the Crossfire of Terrorism: Islamic State” investigates context, creation and existence of the terroristic organization known as the Islamic state or ISIS, Daesh etc. The extreme violence and bloodshed in the Middle East has shocked the Western world. Meanwhile activities of the Islamic state have brought into the daylight philosophical reflections about ourselves and our place in the future. The emergence of the Islamic state is closely related to the events and ideas (philosophy, culture, politics, economics etc.) in the last few decades in both the Middle East and the whole globalized world. The author of this book tries not only to present overview of the Islamic state, it’s history and main ideas but also to describe it in the context of philosophical, political, social, cultural movements in the whole world.