David Rapoport

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David Rapoport
David C. Rapoport is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is one of the earliest terrorologists and a founding co-editor of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence and a member of the Editorial Board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

Career

Rapoport studied a PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1950s. His thesis, ‘Praetorianism government without consensus’, was published in June 1960. [1] From 1959 he lectured at Barnard College in New York before joining University of California in 1962. [2] Rapoport gives the following account of how he become involved in terrorology:

My initial commitment was to political theory, particularly the concept of corruption or decay, and I had an interest in military institutions and violence. In 1970 I was invited to give six lectures on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The subject was assassination but I ran out of material in the 4th lecture and slipped into terrorism and could never get out. [3]

In the early 1970s Rapoport was – according to Alex Schmid – one of “only a handful of academic researchers who took ‘terrorism’ seriously”. [4] The other notable figures were George Bouthoul in Paris, Eugene Walter in Boston, Brian Jenkins at RAND and Martha Crenshaw. [5] Another key figure in this period was Yonah Alexander who Rapoport struck up a working relationship with and the two became regular co-authors.

By the mid 1980s, the New York Times could report that: “Professors of politics and experts in terrorism estimate that more than a dozen colleges and universities now offer classes in international terrorism, in contrast to only a few in the late 1970's.” [6] One was Rapoport who according to the article “built his [UCLA] course on terrorism on the memoirs of terrorists”. [7]

In 1988 Rapoport founded the journal Terrorism and Political Violence, which along with Studies in Conflict and Terrorism is the most influential journal in the terrorism industry. Rapoport still edits Terrorism and Political Violence with Alex Schmid of the University of St. Andrews and is a member of the editorial board of Terrorism and Political Violence.

Publications

  • David C Rapoport, Assassination & Terrorism 1971 (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1971)
  • David C Rapoport and Yonah Alexander The Rationalization of Terrorism (1972)
  • David C Rapoport and Yonah Alexander, The Morality of Terrorism: Religious Origins and Ethnic Implications (New York: Pergamon Press, 1982)
  • David C Rapoport, and Yonah Alexander The Morality of Terrorism: Religious and Secular Justifications (Columbia University Press, 1989)
  • David C Rapoport and Leonard Weinberg (eds.), The Democratic Experience and Political Violence (Cass Series on Political Violence, 9) (co-author) 2001
  • David C Rapoport, Inside Terrorist Organizations (Cass Series on Political Violence) (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988)
  • David C Rapoport, Terrorism: Critical Concepts in Political Science (four-volume set; Critical Concepts in Political Science) (Routledge, 2006)

Contact

Address:
UCLA International Institute
11248 Bunche Hall, Box 951487
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
USA
Tel: +1 310-825-4811
Fax: +1 310-206-3555
Email: rapoport@polisci.ucla.edu

Notes

  1. ’Praetorianism government without consensus’ by David C Rapoport. Thesis (Ph. D. in Political Science)--University of California, Berkeley, June 1960
  2. Profile from former website of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy (accessed 21 November 2008)
  3. Profile from former website of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy (accessed 21 November 2008)
  4. Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cstpv/about/staffprofiles/pwretiral101007.pdf> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  5. Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cstpv/about/staffprofiles/pwretiral101007.pdf> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  6. ‘Education: Colleges Courses Study Terrorism’, New York Times, 18 February 1986
  7. ‘Education: Colleges Courses Study Terrorism’, New York Times, 18 February 1986