Paul Wilkinson

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Professor Paul Wilkinson, Terrorologist and pro-Western Propagandist

Professor Paul Wilkinson (9 May 1937 - 11 August 2011) was chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University. He was one of the foremost academic terrorologists in the UK and served as an active propagandist for Western state interests throughout his long career. He retired from academia in October 2007 but continued to be involved in terrorology.

Biographical information

Early life

Born on 9 May 1937 to Walter and Joan Wilkinson, Paul Wilkinson attended John Lyons School, a private school in Harrow loosely affiliated with the more prestigious Harrow School. He studied History and Politics at University College in Swansea - now Swansea University but then part of the University of Wales. After graduating in 1959 he joined the RAF as an education officer [1] where he served for six years until 1965 when he retired at the rank of Flight Lieutenant.[2]

Wilkinson said his interest in terrorism dates back to his time at the RAF. He told The Herald that during this time he travelled the country "sorting out libraries" and, because there wasn't much to do, spent plenty of time reading. [3] “I wrote about groups involved in protest, revolution and revolt in places like the Middle East – the sub-state actors rather than states," he told The Guardian, "It started as a short project for an article but the whole subject took off and turned into a major research field” [4]

In Cardiff

Wilkinson's 1976 Institute for the Study of Conflict report

In 1966 Wilkinson embarked on his academic career. He returned to the University of Wales, this time to Cardiff, where he became assistant lecturer in Politics. He spent 14 years based in Cardiff, and was promoted to lecturer in 1968, senior lecturer in 1975 and then Reader in 1978.[5] He seems never to have gained a PhD while at Cardiff and until almost the very end of his career seems never to have carried out any empirical research on 'terrorist' groups. Whilst at Cardiff he published his first book, Social Movement (1971) which is a text book in a series titled 'Key concepts in Political Science'. Showing signs that even then he was in the orbit of right wing anti-communists, the series was edited by Leonard Schapiro and one of the other books in the series was announced as being prepared by S E Finer both of whom were associated with the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Schapiro from the beginning in mid 1970.[6] Three years later Wilkinson produced his first book on terrorism entitled Political Terrorism (1974). The book was part of a series sponsored by the political science journal Government and Opposition, the editorial board of which was chaired at the time by ISC stalwart Leonard Schapiro (other ISC oriented people on the board or advisory Board included Julius Gould and S. E. Finer along with US devotees of elite power Daniel Bell and Robert A. Dahl.[7]

The book, according to one reviewer, built “on three best previous treatments, by Brian Crozier (1960), 'Thomas Thronton' (1964), and E. V. Walter (1969).” In the book, that reviewer noted, Wilkinson “candidly tells us one of his aims is identifying counter-measures to terrorist attacks on liberal democracies”[8] He urged liberal democracies to “never surrender to blackmail or extortion” because if acts of terrorism “are seen to pay, then inevitably…the terrorists’ demands will escalate.” [9] Alex Schmid later recalled that one chapter “addressed the issue of ‘Terror against liberal democracies’ - a theme that would occupy [Wilkinson] for the rest of his life.” [10] Indeed Wilkinson’s Manichaean portrayal of a struggle between extremist terrorists and liberal democracies became a common thread in his writings, and naturally made him appealing to Western elites. It was apparently in this period that Wilkinson began his involvement with training the police in anti terrorism. He noted that in 1981 his 'own view' that the 'real secret of the success' of the British police 'in the antiterrorism role is the extremely high standard of specialist training afforded, both at command level and to the specialist officers of the elite antiterrorist squad'. Wilkinson goes on to unblushingly record that he 'has been involved in this training for some years', suggesting at least in his own view that he has contributed to the then 'success' of anti-terrorist policing.[11]

Wilkinson's most influential book

The theme was more explicitly developed two years later in Terrorism versus Liberal Democracy published as part of the Conflict Studies journal series by the Institute for the Study of Conflict; a pseudo-academic outfit established by a group of right-wing ideologues with connections to the secret services. In 1977 Wilkinson followed up Terrorism versus Liberal Democracy with Terrorism and the Liberal State, a more influential book which would be revised and republished in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Reviewing the book on its original release, The Economist wrote:

[One] main concern of the book, as the title suggests, is to persuade liberals to take up tougher weapons in defence of their system. Mr Wilkinson, in the most interesting chapter of his book, believes that terrorism in Ulster could have been defeated if the government had gone on with the policy of internment, thorough intelligence gathering and freedom for the army to shoot as it saw fit and on sight.[12]

His 1979 Institute pamphlet, published just after he was appointed at Aberdeen

At the book's launch in October 1977, Wilkinson warned the media that London was becoming a haven for terrorists. “They wish to take advantage of our democratic freedom,” he told The Guardian. [13] During this period Wilkinson's relations with the ISC grew closer. When his next publication for the Institute was published in November 1979 he was listed as a 'Senior Research Fellow at the Institute.[14]

In Aberdeen

In 1979 Wilkinson moved to Aberdeen University where he was appointed the first Chair in International Relations.

On 27 October 1980 Wilkinson joined the Institute for the Study of Conflict, which had published his book Terrorism versus Liberal Democracy four years earlier. Wilkinson spent only a short time at the Institute, and resigned from the Council on 26 May 1981.[15]

Interestingly it later emerged that Wilkinson had met with the notorious Oliver North in 1984. It was revealed during the Congressional hearings into the Iran-Contra scandal that North's schedule for 10 September 1984 included two one-and-a-half hour encounters with Wilkinson. When questioned by The Guardian on the disclosures Wilkinson said North’s schedule must have referred to lectures he had given in Washington, saying, “I'm sure I'd have remembered them otherwise.”[16]

In 1985 Wilkinson was made head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen University. He established The Terrorism Research Unit within the department and began to develop a computer database containing a chronology of terrorist incidents, profiles of terrorist groups and laws and anti-terrorist measures taken by governments.[17] This project - described as being 'unique in size in Western Europe' - was coordinated with the RAND Corporation and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel-Aviv University (where Ariel Merari was working on a similar project).[18] This project almost certainly led to the RAND-St Andrews database developed by Wilkinson and Bruce Hoffman in the 1990s at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence.

the 1986 second edition Wilkinson's Terrorism and the Liberal State

In late 1986 Wilkinson founded the Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism, a corporate funded 'charity' which shared an office with the right-wing lobby group Aims of Industry, but was occasionally (and probably inaccurately) reported to be based at Aberdeen. Wilkinson wrote to major corporations to ask for donations of up to £10,000 to fund 'a major research project on terrorist threats to industry by product contamination and methods of combatting them.'[19]

In 1987 Zionist propagandist and former Labour MP Eric Moonman published a book called The Violent Society which included contributions from Wilkinson and former soldier Richard Clutterbuck. Paul Wilkinson was identified in the contributors notes as a member of the Advisory Board of Moonman's think tank the Centre for Contemporary Studies. [20]

On 8 September 1988 Wilkinson publicly attacked a planned Channel 4 broadcast, leading to the programme being axed. Channel 4’s late night discussion show After Dark had planned a programme on Northern Ireland featuring the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. Although the Guardian later reported that Wilkinson was not invited onto the show and had merely been asked for advice on the programme, [21] Wilkinson publicly said he had refused an invitation after being told Adams was to appear. [22] Wilkinson was joined in his public protest by two Tory MPs and Channel 4's director of programmes decided to cancel the broadcast. [23] The IBA announced later that day that, if necessary, it would have used Section 4 of the Broadcasting Act to stop Adams appearing on the basis that the broadcast might ‘encourage or incite crime, or lead to disorder, or be offensive to public feeling.’ [24]

After the Lockerbie Bombing in December 1988, Wilkinson – along with other terrorologists – developed an interest in aviation security. Following the bombing he advised the British Department of Transport and assisted the American Federal Aviation Administration.[25] His Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism published Lessons of Lockerbie in 1989 and became an early advocate for high-technology ID cards, calling for the ‘replacement of passports by high-technology identity cards, which would include fingerprint information.’[26] Several years later he would co-edit Aviation Terrorism and Security with Brian Jenkins, another key figure in the early years of terrorism studies.

In August 1989 the Toronto based think tank the Mackenzie Institute published a report authored by Wilkinson. The Mackenzie Institute had been set up by the military propagandist Maurice Tugwell three years previously. The report focused on alleged state-sponsored terrorism by Libya and Syria which Wilkinson claimed is 'seldom attacked'. He told the Toronto Star: "The state sponsors of terrorism should be made to realize that violence is a bankrupt strategy and that if they pursue it they will actually pay the price of total diplomatic and economic isolation." [27]

At St. Andrews

In 1989 Wilkinson left Aberdeen to join the University of St. Andrews as Professor of International Relations. Wilkinson introduced two new courses at St. Andrews, one of course in International Terrorism and another in Comparative Intelligence Systems. The Times called them 'the most controversial courses yet offered in British universities'.[28] Wilkinson taught the terrorism course which was aimed at influencing future state and corporate personnel: "I would hope that our graduates would put their training to good use in government, industry, the armed forces, the Foreign Office or the law," Wilkinson told The Times.[29] The Comparative Intelligence Systems course was headed by Myles Robertson, a Kremlinologist who planned the course over six months with the help of "former government people."[30]

In December 1989 Wilkinson became a director of the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism,[31] a new think-tank which was formed by amalgamating the Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism with the Institute for the Study of Conflict[32] (which had published Terrorism versus Liberal Democracy).

In the wake of the first Gulf War, Wilkinson was openly critical of the hasty resort to force and authored an op-ed in The Guardian warning of the potential loss of civilian lives; a stance rather unusual for a 'terrorism expert'. He was also critical of ‘British people [who] have come to tamely accept the idea that Britain should unquestioningly follow the bidding of the US President.’[33] However, this analysis was coupled with dire warnings of the potential terrorist threat Saddam Hussein might pose. He told the Press Association that “once hostilities have broken out, Saddam will order ruthless attacks on civilian targets, such as airlines, check-in desks and other public places without any compunction.”[34] He told The Times, “We do have evidence that the dangerous groups really experienced in terrorism who receive substantial sponsorship in terms of money, training and intelligence from Saddam, are in place ready to launch attacks when he gives the word.”[35]

In 1994 Wilkinson resigned from the board of the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism and was appointed head of the School of History and International Relations (a post he held until 1996). 1994 was also the year Wilkinson founded the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence with RAND analyst Bruce Hoffman. Wilkinson was appointed a director of CSTPV in 1999 and a Chairman in 2002.

Into retirement

In October 2007 Wilkinson officially retired from St. Andrews but he remains Chairman of the Advisory Board of CSTPV.[36]

Influence on policy makers

European policy

On 13 November 1980 the Council of Europe held a terrorism conference in Strasbourg. According to a Spanish radio broadcast translated by the BBC, “The international conference on terrorism…brought together 100 or so European experts.” [37] Wilkinson was one of them. At the conference he reportedly urged for laws to prosecute the BBC for interviewing the killers of the British politician Airey Neave, and for filming an IRA road block. He said: “Certain employees wilfully conspire or collaborate with terrorists and allow their programmes to become vehicles for terrorist propaganda.” [38]

According to The Guardian a secret session on security measures was held during the conference. It was attended by academics, policemen and politicians, but was “dominated” by Wilkinson and Richard Clutterbuck. [39] Clutterbuck, a counter-insurgency expert, was a former Council member of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, which Wilkinson had recently joined. [40] Years later he would become involved in Wilkinson's Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence.

The session discussed “an international intelligence computer, a kind of Euro-MI5 and international commando squads.” [41] Clutterbuck and Wilkinson agreed on the computer proposal but not on Wilkinson’s proposal for “a central coordinating cell of half a dozen security and intelligence experts” to strengthen intelligence links between European states. [42] In addition to his proposals for “a small permanent European Commission to improve international co-ordinating”, Wilkinson also proposed SAS style “hostage rescue squads for other regions of the world”. [43]

In November 2004 Wilkinson told the Parliamentary Select Committee on the European Union that he was "due to meet [the EU Counter-terrorism Co-ordinator] very shortly" [44]

Government consultant and the Lloyd Inquiry

Wilkinson appears to have first been consulted by the government on its anti-terrorism policy in the early 1980s. In 1982 he gave written and oral evidence to the Home Office's review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976, [45] and a year later was consulted by the Northern Ireland Office in the review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. [46] In 1987 was consulted again by the Home Office for its review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984. [47] His most significant contribution to policy however was his involvement in the Lloyd Inquiry.

In December 1995 the Conservative Government set up an inquiry into anti-terrorism legislation in the UK. At that stage British anti-terrorism legislation was limited to a series of temporary emergency powers designed specifically to targeting the IRA and other militant groups in Northern Ireland. The inquiry set up to review the existing legislation was headed by Lord Lloyd of Berwick and published its report in October 1996. Wilkinson was not only an advisor to Lord Lloyd, he even authored the second part of the report.[48] The main report, which Lord Lloyd admitted had “drawn heavily”[49] on Wilkinson’s research, essentially recommended the indefinite extension of the Draconian powers until then limited to Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK and concluded that there was “a continuing need for permanent United Kingdom-wide legislation.”[50] It also recommended that the government develop an official list of organisations prescribed as terrorist - a key mechanism used by states to condemn acts of terrorism committed by enemies whilst exonerating allies. The report was part of a legislative process which led to the Labour Government's Terrorism Act 2000.[51]

Not only was Wilkinson connected with the inquiry which led to the Terrorism Act 2000, but he is also connected to Lord Carlile, the supposedly independent reviewer of the United Kingdom’s anti-terrorism legislation. In November 2005 Lord Carlile told the House of Lords he considered Wilkinson “the greatest non-lawyer expert in this country… on terrorist organisations around the world.” He also commented offhand that he had “sat in Professor Paul Wilkinson's interesting attic office in the University of St Andrew's Centre for the Study of Terrorism.”[52]

On Friday 11 July 1997 Wilkinson attended an MoD seminar organised by the new Labour government on its Strategic Defence Review. The seminar was chaired by the diplomat turned investment banker Michael Alexander and attended by 19 other academics, journalists and think-tank members. [53]

Consultant to Parliamentary Committees

Wilkinson gave evidence to the Defence Select Committee in its 94/95 and 95/96 sessions. [54] After the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 11, 2001, Wilkinson appeared at numerous parliamentary committees offering his wisdom on terrorism and security. In October 2001 he was appointed a special advisor to the Select Committee on Defence, and in January 2002 he made the first of several appearances before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee[55] as part of its series of reports on ‘Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism’. Evidently, however, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was already a fan. Donald Anderson, who chaired the Committee from 1997 until 2005, recommended Wilkinson’s book Terrorism versus Democracy to the House of Commons three days after September 11th. It was, he said, “an excellent work”.[56] The day before, Anderson and Wilkinson had both appeared on the BBC current affairs programme World At One[57] but their connection probably goes back much further than that; both men studied Politics and History at the Swansea College and graduated only a year apart from each other.[58]

In addition to his appearances before the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees, Wilkinson has given evidence on terrorism-related reports compiled by the European Union Select Committee,[59] and the Transport Committee[60]

Propaganda connections

Propaganda and think tank publications

Wilkinson has also edited or co-edited a significant number of books. these are mostly the result of conferences hosted by Wilkinson or his vehicles often in collaboration with other intelligence and state connected think tanks and networks. Thus Wilkinson produced the following numbers of edited collections in each of the decades starting in the 1970s: 1, 2, 3, 2. They are notable for the connections they reveal with other leading propagandists and intelligence connected operatives. For example his first edited collection (Terrorism : theory and practice edited by Yonah Alexander, David Carlton, and Paul Wilkinson. Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1979) was edited with Yonah Alexander a one man publishing dynamo who has co-authored and co-edited many books on terrorism and at that stage (1976/77) and ran the Institute for Studies in International Terrorism (State University of New York) which although it appeared to Herman and O'Sullivan 'to be little more than a one-man operation'[61], nevertheless was able to put on conferences in London and elsewhere and published 'Terrorism: An International Journal.' Alexander himself has had a book published by the World Zionist Organization and is described as 'a committed ideologue and propagandist rather than a scholar'[62] Wilkinson's next edited volume in 1981 [63] was also published as a special issue of Alexander's journal Terrorism. In January 1982 two pamphlets by Wilkinson on Northern Ireland were published by the British government's propaganda department the Central Office of Information. These would be used as a tool for suggesting that the problem in the North of Ireland was 'Murder Incorporated' and 'orange extremism', the titles of the two pamphlets referring to the Irish Republican Army and loyalist paramilitaries. This fitted well with the British propaganda approach of trying to suggest that the problem in the North was an intaractable ethnic conflict in which the British 'held the ring'.[64]

In 1993 Wilkinson edited a collection on Technology and Terrorism, which was the product of a 'seminar for experts on technology and terrorism held at St Andrews' 24-26 August 1992. It was so-sponsored by Wilkinson's own Institute (the successor to the ISC) and the National Strategy Information Center in Washington, an intelligence connected institute run by Roy Godson, both a writer and activist in the field of intelligence and connected to Oliver North through his involvement in Iran-Contra operations.[65] Three years later a further edited collection appeared co-edited with Brian Jenkins from the RAND Corporation.[66]

Testifying for the British government

Wilkinson gave evidence for the British government in 1983/4 in their case for the extradition of Maze prison escaper Joe Doherty in the US. The Belfast journalist, Martin Dillon, has recounted the British government's invitation to him to give evidence in the US at court hearings held to consider the extradition of Republican prisoner Joe Doherty. One 'classified' British government memorandum he received, while making a decision about whether to testify, revealed government strategy, outlined at a meeting in July 1983:

It would be prudent for the Northern Ireland Office during the period leading up to the defence's response to our depositions, to give thought to possible witnesses on the general situation in the Province at the time of Doherty's offences. It would be important for any such witness to be dissociated from the British Government, and for him to be able to paint a picture of declining violence and impartial law enforcement and judicial procedures. While such high profile figures as Conor Cruise O'Brien, Lord Fitt or Robert Kee could be difficult to land, the bigger the 'fish' the better. [67]

In the event Dillon declined the offer and his place was taken by Professor Paul Wilkinson of St Andrews University - who was presumably viewed as a smaller 'fish'.[68]

Wilkinson & Colin Wallace

In 1986 Wilkinson intervened in the 'Colin Wallace' affair. The Information Policy unit set up in Northern Ireland in 1971 was connected to the Information Research Department-run psychological warfare operations headed by Jeremy Railton and Maurice Tugwell. Tugwell, according to Edward Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, is an old ally of Paul Wilkinson, having participated in Wilkinson's conference in Aberdeen in April 1986, as well as contributing a chapter to a Wilkinson-edited volume, 'British Perspectives on Terrorism.'

In the summer of 1987 rumours were spread through a small group of journalists that Colin Wallace's claims to have been a sky-diver were false and that this indicated that his wider claims concerning government covert operations were also false and that he was a fantasist, a' Walter Mitty'. These rumours arrived at Channel Four News who had been one of the few media outlets to cover Wallace's claims and prompted other journalists such as Paul Foot and Robin Ramsay (who were convinced that Wallace's sky-diving stories were as true as his other claims).

But when Ramsay contacted the British Parachuting Association to check their file on Wallace he found they had no record of him. Eventually Paul Foot discovered that a duplicate set of records were held by the international parachuting body and Wallace's records were there, confirming that he was what he said he was — as far as sky-diving went.[69] A journalist now with the BBC, John Ware, still ran the 'Wallace-is-a-fake' parachuting story some months later in a double page spread in the Independent smearing both Wallace and Fred Holroyd.

Ramsay [70]argues that:

The point here is, we can now work out some of what this MOD-MI5 operation against Wallace consisted of. First, they picked one area of Wallace's CV, his parachuting, and set out to discredit him with it. If they could show he was lying here, they believed, journalists would not believe his other claims. They burgled his house and stole his jumping log book; they burgled the British Parachuting Association and removed his file, substituting a fake file for the one with his number on it. Then they began spreading the word through their press contacts that Wallace was a fraud, knowing that Wallace didn't have his jumping log and knowing that —eventually —some journalist would ring the British Parachuting Association and ask about his record. Finding nothing, because his file had been removed, such a journalist would consider the allegation that he was a fantasist proven and would thus dismiss him as the 'Walter Mitty' figure described at his trial. This operation was certainly run at Channel Four News and John Ware, then working for the BBC.

Without Foot's investigation journalists would have been struggling to rebut the Wallace-is-a fantasist line. Ramsay argues that another disinformation project about Wallace was fed through Paul Wilkinson, then at Aberdeen University, and ITN's official consultant on terrorism.

Somebody in the MOD or MI5 fed him some material about Wallace which accused him of trying to get a man in Northern Ireland killed so he —Wallace —could have the man's wife. This smear story had been created just before Wallace left Northern Ireland —presumably in case they ever needed to get at Wallace. Wilkinson wrote a letter, passing this derogatory material on to ITN. Fortunately, by this point,Channel Four News' management were pretty sure Wallace was telling the truth and showed us journalists Wilkinson's letter. The allegations it contained were refutable, and Wallace wrote to the University authorities. Wilkinson was reprimanded and apologised and lost his job as ITN's consultant on terrorism. The point here is this: Wallace had already been framed for manslaughter and convicted in a rigged trial. Having failed to shut Wallace up with six years of imprisonment, the secret state then set about discrediting him. If you could get to the people on the MOD/MI5 committee which planned this and asked them why they were doing it, they would simply say, it was in the national interest to prevent Wallace talking. In the minds of the secret state the national interest —as defined by them—overrides the competing claims of justice and democracy.

Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan provide this analysis of the affair in their book The 'Terrorism' Industry:

Wilkinson's service to a repressive state was carried to a new level in his attempt to discredit Colin Wallace, formerly of MI5 (British intelligence) and the Army Information Department. Wallace had exposed the workings of an MI5-backed "dirty tricks" campaign designed to discredit Labour MPs by linking their names, prior to elections, with the Irish Republican Army, as well as an MI5 campaign to smear Harold Wilson in 1976. Wallace also went on record in exposing abuses of psychological operations undertaken against the Irish by British intelligence.[71]
In response to Wallace's charges, Wilkinson passed along a letter of dubious origin to ITN Television, which accused Wallace of all manner of wrongdoing. Wilkinson's accompanying letter (on University of Aberdeen stationery and dated July 21, 1987) to a representative of ITN began, "Herewith the interesting letter I received from one of our researchers on the Colin Wallace affair. . . . It certainly raises major question marks about the extent to which one can rely on his version of events in Northern Ireland and elsewhere."[72]
The letter in question, a rather crude piece of disinformation, wrongfully accused Wallace of attempting to have the husband of a woman he was allegedly having an affair with killed by the Ulster Defence Association, and attributed his claims regarding Wilson and MI5 to 'James Bond fantasies.' Subsequently, in a letter to Wallace himself dated June 9, 1988, Wilkinson apologized for having caused him any undue "discomfort or embarrassment." A letter of retraction was simultaneously sent to various news agencies calling the allegations against Wallace (which he had, in essence, provided as fact) "totally untrue."[73]

Media presence

Television and Radio

Graph showing Paul Wilkinson's Media Presence.JPG

On 3 January 1987 BBC 1 broadcast Crisis!, a documentary cum drama surrounding an imaginary hijacking and hostage crisis. The concept was that a committee of MPs and experts, chaired by Wilkinson, would have to make to deal with the imaginary emergency. Other participants included Roy Jenkins, Francis Pym and Gerald Kaufman. [74]

In 1990 The Observer said Wilkinson was “a familiar voice on the radio following any terrorist outrage when his views as ‘an expert’ are eagerly sought by Brian Redhead [presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme] and others.” [75]

Print Media

The graph on the right shows Wilkinson’s presence in the English print media from 1975 until the end of 2007. The figures were compiled by searching All English Language News at Lexis-Nexis for references to Terrorism and Paul Wilkinson.[76]

The graph shows a significant increase following Wilkinson’s move to St. Andrews in 1989, which also coincided with media discussion of the Lockerbie bombing. As you might expect it also shows an enormous increase following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Writings and views

Wilkinson became a leading expert on terrorism setting the agenda for public debate, not just in the academy but in the media, policy circles and in relation to think tanks and the legal system. His writings on terrorism are notable, however, for their lack of engagement with empirical research and for their over-reliance on official sources and media reports. Also, only those sources which do not contradict his views were in general cited or used as 'evidence'. Although Wilkinson is often treated as if he were a dispassionate and simply 'expert' analyst, there is little to distinguish his views or analysis from that of the counterinsurgency theorists produced from within the military, such as - in the UK - Robert Thompson, Frank Kitson, Richard Clutterbuck, Maurice Tugwell and others.

Early critics, such as Frank Burton (author of the classic ethnography of the Northern Ireland conflict The Politics of Legitimacy[77]) were critical of what he termed 'a near perfect example of the relationship between empiricist social science and the techniques of social control'.[78] Burton concluded his review by claiming that:

The reader who is looking for clarification and explanation would do well to look elsewhere than to this latest contribution by the new empiricists of social control. If, however, you are a "hard-line" liberal (conservative?) and feel in need of moral re-armament you might find this text blending nicely with your ethical persuasions. It is not, however, a serious academic analysis of political terrorism.[78]

Other early critics - such as Philip Schlesinger - argued in similar vein to Burton that his work amounted to 'counterinsurgency doctrine masquerading as political sociology'.[79] Wilkinson's work shares the main limitations of the counterinsurgency school, weaknesses - arguably - shared by the entire field of mainstream 'terrorism studies'. The recurrent problems with counterinsurgency writing are first a 'a near total failure to arrive at empirical conclusions derived from microanalytic, first-hand research in the communities that support the guerrillas' and second an over-reliance on 'information and interpretations provided by the governments and security forces fighting guerrillas'.[80] It is worth highlighting that this second problem also extends to the absence of studies of the reliability of official information including any work on the propaganda activities of the state. The counterinsurgency writers prefer to disseminate state propaganda than to analyse it. The problems with Wilkinson's work run through his entire career from his first book on terrorism published in 1974 to his later and most well known book Terrorism and the Liberal State, a book which was reprinted several times and was issued in a second edition in 1986.

Empirical Vacuum

Wilkinson's Trilateral Commission pamphlet, 2003

Wilkinson's academic career spanned three universities and over three decades. In that period he has published a significant amount of work. However, although he has published what looks like a lot of books and other single authored works (see below), on closer examination it appears that he published three single authored books in the 1970s, one in the 1980s, none in the 1990s and two since 2000. To be fair, three of these were republished in second editions. The other single authored publications produced by Wilkinson were mostly short pamphlets and publications done for think tanks and propaganda organisations such as the Institute for the Study of Conflict or its successor the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, which Wilkinson ran. Other bodies included the Israel lobby group the Institute of Jewish Affairs/American Jewish Congress, the Canadian based Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda, run by Wilkinson collaborator and former British propagandist Maurice Tugwell and the elite policy planning group the Trilateral Commission.

Wilkinson speaks at the Centre for European Reform a shadowy intelligence connected think tank in October 2005

The most important point to make about Wilkinson's work is the severe lack of original empirical research. Wilkinson seems not to have gained a PhD and seems never to have engaged in any significant empirical academic research. Given the twin themes of 'terrorism' and the 'liberal state' that run through all of his work one might expect some empirical work on the activities of the sub state terror groups. Alternatively as an advocate of liberal democracy, one might expect to see empirical work on the state or that his writings might be informed by or engage with other academic debates on the state. But neither of these possibilities has ever come to pass.

Repeated passages

Perhaps this lack of empirical research partly explains that most of Wilkinson's work seems repetitive and to be discussing the same issues in the same familiar way. This is so in relation to the themes he has addressed - mainly the alleged opposition between democracy and terrorism - but also, more controversially in relation to repeated duplication of identical passages in publications written over the space of more than three decades. For example, in discussing Northern Ireland Wilkinson repeatedly uses the same quotes and identical passages.

In Political Terrorism there is a passage starting on p. 115 and ending on p. 120, which includes quotes from Conor Cruise O'Brien, the former Minister in the Republic and Cathal Goulding of the Official IRA. It also includes reference to 'recent studies' documenting the activities of loyalist paramilitaries. In the 1974 book these studies are footnoted and are both from 1973. This long passage is repeated again in Wilkinson's 2001 book Terrorism Versus Democracy (p. 27-29) with only minor changes including most notably the removal of part of a paragraph noting the 'political bankruptcy' of the Provisional IRA and their lack of popular support. In addition the passage on 'recent studies' is still there but the references (from 1973) have been removed. This whole passage survives into the 2006 edition of the book. Amazingly the same passage also features in Wilkinson's introductory chapter to his edited collection which is claimed to be the result of an ESRC funded research project published in 2007. This essay also includes other copied passages. Two paragraphs on the Good Friday Agreement (p. 14) are lifted verbatim from the 2006 edition Terrorism Versus Democracy(p. 30). These passages differ slightly from the first edition of this book in that nine words have been added to the end of the second paragraph (p. 33-34). These passages are displayed in a table format on a separate page.

The Soviet Terror network

During the 1980s Wilkinson advocated the completely discredited view of an ‘international terrorism’ sponsored by the Soviet Union to undermine democracy. It was a spurious thesis made popular by Claire Sterling, author of The Terror Network and drawing on the writings of other journalists and intelligence connected figures from the far right such as Brian Crozier and Robert Moss. Sterling's book relied mostly on uncorroborated Western intelligence sources and drew heavily on the testimony of a Czech defector who had even been deemed unreliable by the CIA. [81] Despite the lack of evidence behind Sterling’s book, it was hugely popular with the new Reagan administration. The new American Secretary of State Alexander Haig had copies of The Terror Network distributed within the State Department, and William Casey, Reagan's campaign manager who was appointed Director of Central Intelligence, flaunted Sterling's achievement before his subordinates. [82]

Sterling’s work fitted with the Reagan administration’s policy, which sought to expand America’s international hegemony using both anti-communist and counter-terrorism rhetoric. On 28 January 1981 Haig had used the occasion of his first press conference to announce a review of American’s counter terrorism policy. He told journalists that the Soviets were “involved in conscious policies which foster, support and expand” terrorism. [83] Later in March, Haig told a congressional committee that the Soviet Union, “bears responsibility today for the proliferation and haemorrhaging of international terrorism” and that if the US didn’t act against it, “we will find it within our own borders tomorrow.” [84]

However, both Haig and Casey were perturbed to discover that the State Department and CIA experts found Sterling's book not only highly unreliable but based in large part on CIA disinformation. [85] Members of the CIA also apparently briefed against Haig. After his congressional committee presentation an anonymous source told The Times that a draft report of the CIA’s national intelligence survey “strongly disagrees with Reagan’s and Haig’s contention that the Soviets are behind international terrorism.” [86] After The Times ran that story Wilkinson wrote the paper a letter in which he accused the CIA of, ‘misinforming the United States Government and public’. He wrote that the CIA’s findings ‘will astonish experienced students of the subject,’ adding that, ‘processes of Soviet involvement in terrorism have been carefully analysed by Western specialists since the early seventies,’[87] no doubt a reference to the various publications of the Institute for the Study of Conflict.

That year Wilkinson's edited collection British Perspectives on Terrorism was published with a contribution from Jillian Becker, the main exponent of the Soviet terror network theory in Britain. Wilkinson wrote that Becker was 'a self-exiled South African novelist...[and] liberal writer [who] has chosen to leave the country of her birth and come and work in London.' This implied that she was an opponent of apartheid, when in fact she was a prominent apologist. Becker once wrote that the ANC is 'the only terrorist organisation in the world which is actually controlled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and supplied by the Russians with arms free of charge.' [88] Becker edited the 1984 book The Soviet Union and Terrorism, and went on to found the Institute for the Study of Terrorism with Lord Chalfont in 1985. The Institute published a series of pamplets on 'Terrorism in South Africa'. One, published in 1986 called ANC: a Soviet task force?, Lord Chalfont explained in the foreword, sought to dispell 'one the myths carefully fostered by organs of progressive opinion...that the African National Congress is a straightforward nationalist movement, dedicated to the peaceful establishment of majority rule.' In fact he continued, the ANC had 'founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation), a militant organization openly dedicated to the overthrow of the South African regime by "armed struggle," which in practice has come to mean terrorism.' [89]

Wilkinson himself remained dedicated to the terror network conspiracy theory until the very end of the Soviet Union. On 28 June 1990 Wilkinson appeared On Thames TV’s This Week programme and asserted that the communist Czech government had supplied arms to the IRA, ‘carrying out their portion of the overall work of the Warsaw pact Countries in sponsoring terrorism, in training people to do it.’. Wilkinson went on to state that: ‘there’s absolutely no doubt that they regarded aid to…groups like the IRA, as a positive step towards helping to weaken or disrupt other countries, diverting the security forces of Western countries away from their external defence role within NATO…’ [90]

David Miller wrote to Wilkinson to ask what evidence he had to connect the IRA to the Soviet Union. Wilkinson replied stating that the ‘main links today are, I believe political and ideological.’ He referred to a book chapter titled ‘The IRA and Terror International’ by Michael McKinley, and recommended the work Hans Josef Horchem regarding the ‘frequently discussed links with the IRA and E. German Stasi’. [91]

The McKinley chapter was a contribution to a 1987 book Wilkinson had co-edited called Contemporary Research on Terrorism, whilst Hans Horchem was a contributor along with Wilkinson to the 1986 collection of ISC essays Contemporary Terrorism. Horchem was also a former member of the West German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, [92] the intelligence agency responsible for monitoring subversion.

David Miller wrote again to Wilkinson to ask if he had, ‘any evidence of either political or military assistance being given by any Warsaw Pact country either directly or indirectly to the IRA.’ [93] Wilkinson replied citing one example of an alleged shipment he said was intercepted in October 1971. Otherwise he stated that Czech secret service had provided weapons to Libya, which were then supplied to the IRA. As evidence of whether the IRA were the intended recipients of the weapons, Wilkinson stated that ‘the Czech secret service and their KGB controllers knew full well of kind of group Gadaffi was sponsoring or assisting. It is worth noting,’ he added, ‘that there was a substantial compliment of Soviet Military advisors in Libya during the whole period of Gadaffi’s most active assistance to the IRA…’ [94]

Types of terror

Wilkinson's first book on terrorism: Political Terrorism, 1974

In his first book on the topic (Political Terrorism, 1974) Wilkinson shows the contradictory approach taken throughout his academic career: that of attempting to sound reasonable and liberal - an adherent of 'liberal democracy' - accompanied by the pursuit of a dogmatic line of authoritarian response to 'terrorism' - which in practice he defines as violence committed against the West and its friends. This is illustrated by contrasting the beginning and the end of the book. On page 11 Wilkinson defines 'political terror' as encompassing 'coercive intimidation by revolutionary movements, regimes, or individuals for political motives'. By the end the definition is narrower encompassing only a 'theory of revolutionary terror'(p. 129). 'This is no accident' writes one critic since the book ends 'as a piece of tactical advice to the rulers of the liberal democratic capitalist state' and thus the idea of state terror - especially by liberal democratic states is out of the question.[95]

Definitions of Terrorism

This difficulty affects all of Wilkinson's work including most obviously his definition of what terrorism is and his treatment of 'state terror', which will be examined in turn. In his Terrorism and the Liberal State (1977 2nd Ed 1986) he defines terrorism as the 'systematic use of murder and destruction, and the threat of murder and destruction, to terrorise individuals, groups, communities or governments into conceding to the terrorists' political aims'[96]

This definition is quite serviceable and although as George noted 'many refinements and improvements are of course possible'[97], it can with a moments thought be seen to apply to both states and non states. Wilkinson would not deny this, but would object to it being applied to 'liberal democratic' states. The word 'would' is important here because in all his voluminous writings Wilkinson appears never to have explicitly stated that it cannot or should not be applied to the US, UK or Israel. He simply assumes it.

Wilkinson uses the standard western apologists' definition of terrorism such that it excludes Western states and is inconsistently applied to retail 'terror' groups. In the introduction to his 2007 edited collection Wilkinson states that terrorism 'inherently' involves attacks on 'random or symbolic' targets 'including civilians'[98] Almost all writers are agreed that 'terrorism' is the 'systematic' use of 'murder' or other physical violence for political ends. In particular, there is substantial agreement that 'terrorist' violence is either 'indiscriminate' or mostly targets civilians or both.[99] Were we to use the killing of civilians as a criterion and apply it literally to the Northern Ireland conflict, we would be unable to label the IRA unequivocally as 'terrorist' since a minority (37.4%) of victims of the IRA between 1969 and June 1989 were civilians. On the other hand, the Army and the police in Northern Ireland would be categorised as 'terrorists' since a majority of the people they have killed were civilians (54.4%).[100] Of course, the 'security forces' would claim that they do not kill civilians deliberately, but then so would the IRA. Indeed the IRA routinely apologised when it did kill civilians 'by mistake'.

The degree of discrimination in targets is not, however, a reliable guide to the organisations described as 'terrorist' in the writings of 'counterinsurgency' theorists. Writers such as Wilkinson do not apply their definitions with any rigour. The IRA are referred to as 'terrorist' not according to their targets, but whatever they do. The obverse also applies. They never refer to the British government as terrorist or engaging in acts of terrorism (see below). Counterinsurgency theorists have already made up their minds about the groups they think of as 'terrorist'. They then manage to define 'terrorism' so that it fits with their own preconceptions. For example, Paul Wilkinson writes that:

Terrorism can be briefly defined as coercive intimidation or more fully as the systematic use of murder, injury, and destruction or threat of same to create a climate of terror, to publicise a cause, and to coerce a wider target into submitting to its aims .[101]

In principle this could fit any form of political violence, including state violence. To take the example of the conflict in Northern Ireland on which Wilkinson has often pronounced, it is clear that matters are not so simple as Wilkinson might imply. Typically Wilkinson fails to discuss the British Army’s role in torture, in extra judicial executions and in collusion with, indeed the direction of, the loyalist death squads. The British government was found guilty of torture at the European Court of Human Rights in 1976, though after fierce lobbying the verdict was downgraded to ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’ in 1978.[102] Before that the British government’s own inquiry was split. The minority report dated 31 January 1972 concluded that:

The blame for this sorry story, if blame there be, must lie with those who, many years ago, decided that in emergency conditions in Colonial-type situations we should abandon our legal, well-tried and highly successful wartime interrogation methods and replace them by procedures which were secret, illegal, not morally justifiable and alien to the traditions of what I believe still to be the greatest democracy in the world.[103]

The infamous ‘five techniques’ used were then banned by the Heath government, until the British Army quietly forgot that this was so and deployed them in Iraq.[104]

The British Army (and the paramilitary police in Northern Ireland) were repeatedly accused of conducting a ‘shoot to kill’ against Irish republican suspects. The investigation by the Deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police was obstructed from the beginning by the RUC and elements of the army and MI5 and never published after false allegations were made against him. He stated that although he had not been able to find anything in writing authorising the killings, that ‘there was a clear understanding on the part of the men whose job it was to pull the trigger that that was what was expected of them.’[105] In July 2007 the inquest into three of the killings originally investigated by Stalker was reopened.[106]

On the death squads, even official British reports have accepted that such collusion took place. The 2003 report, known as ‘Stevens 3’ found in the words of Sir John Stevens that informants and agents ‘were allowed to operate without effective control and to participate in terrorist crimes’.[107]

The BBC reports members of the police and Army ‘colluded with the largest loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), to murder Catholics.’[108] The ‘democratic ethos’ in which the army is allegedly steeped is undermined somewhat by the participation of senior army officers in discussions about and planning for a military coup in the early 1970s.[109]

All of these are dismissed as understandable though they each meet his definition of terrorism. The fact is that the nationalist community in the North was for a sustained period (between 1970 and 1998) terrorised by the British state and its proxies. Amongst its proxies, as now seems to be undeniably the case, were the loyalist paralmilitaries. Now, for Wilkinson these are 'terrorists' or at least 'extremists' and thus have nothing to do with the British state - which is fully democratic.[110]

Since 2001 Wilkinson's views on the IRA seem to have softened. They now seem to be included in a category of terrorists who are said to be 'corrigible' where 'there is a real possibility of finding a political/diplomatic pathway' out of conflict by addressing its 'underlying causes'. We can note here that Wilkinson has spent almost his entire career denouncing these groups and arguing for authortarian responses to them, in opposition to those who argued that terroism and political violence had underlying causes. Now, he suddenly finds that the main enemy of the West is Islamism and as a result introduces the whololy new category of 'incorrigible' terrorists in order to be able to apply it to Al Qaeda.[111] Typically Wilkinson offers no evidence for this distinction offering only his preferred response to Al Qaeda as a definition of why they are incorrigible:

the movement/group has such absolutist and maximalist aims and poses such a major threat to the lives and well-being of civilian communities that the only recourse is to use all possible measures to suppress the group before it can wreak more mayhem.[112]

The distinction that Wilkinson makes is elaborated in terms of the alleged scale of 'ruthlessness and lethality', the 'brutal language', the 'remorseless use of mass terror' and 'brutal mass killing'[113] One gets the feeling that Wilkinson's distinction is based lartegly on the number of adjectives he can use to describe the new enemy of the West. It is not enough to state that the followers of Bin Laden 'believe' they will prevail because 'Allah is on their side', Wilkinson writes instead that they 'fanatically believe'.[114] This shows more of the hallmarks of tabloid headline writing than academic analysis.

State Terrorism

This contradiction runs all the way through Wilkinson's work. In Political Terrorism, he posits three types of terrorism. He proceeds by first excluding 'criminal terrorism' and 'war terrorism', thus leaving out the major forms of state terror, a move which also has the advantage that resistance to a war fighting invading power - such as in Iraq - can be seen as terrorism.[115] The three categories he notes are:

  1. Revolutionary Terrorism
  2. Sub-Revolutionary Terrorism
  3. Repressive Terrorism

The typology is evidently - even in its own terms - problematic as he cites the French Revolution as the prototype of revolutionary terror,[116] failing to note that the 'Terror' was carried out by the state - the revolutionary government.[117] But, having outlined three types of terror, Wilkinson promptly forgets about the third type - repressive terror. The next chapter of the book (taking up 80 pages of the 150 page book) focuses only on the first two categories. The succeeding chapter thus makes the shift to considering 'counter-measures' to the non state terror.[118] He has nothing whatever to say about the relevance of repressive terror supported or carried out by the liberal state. This position was untenable when the book was published in 1974. The huge expansion in the apparatus of coercion and repression brought in by Thatcher in the 1980s and then by Blair/Brown as part of the alleged 'war on terror' make it all the more fanciful.

By early 2001 Wilkinson's typology of terrorism has expanded noticeably to encompass five types:

  1. Nationalist
  2. Ideological
  3. Religiopolitical
  4. Single-issue
  5. State-sponsored and state-supported[119]

Although the types of terrorism have expanded, the central problem of his treatment of state terrorism remains. There is more specificity in the category 'State-sponsored and state-supported' terrorism than in the previous 'repressive' terror and this might evade the issue that repressive terrorism could encompass actual state terrorism. Now states apparently only support or sponsor terrorism rather than carrying it out themselves.

In the second Edition of Terrorism and the Liberal State, published in 1986 the states listed as involved in terorism is confined not just to those states that are Western enemies, but even more ideologically to those which were the current enemies of the US government, as one writer noted:

Paul Wilkinson's list of terrorist states, for example, explicitly refers to Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea, South Yemen, and implicitly refers to Cuba and Nicaragua (pp 276-80), rather neatly corresponding to President Reagan's 1985 list of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba and Nicaragua.[120]
The second edition of Wilkinson's Terrorism Versus Democracy

In Terrorism Versus Democracy (2001) there is some discussion about state sponsored terrorism where it remains clear that only states of which Wilkinson does not approve can be described as sponsoring terrorism. He writes that states use terror 'both as a tool of domestic and foreign policy'[121] This is true, but could as easily apply to the UK, US and Israel as to the preferred examples of Iran and North Korea. Moving on Wilkinson notes that the end of the cold war has 'removed in one fell swoop' the Warsaw Pact's 'substantial network of sponsorship and support for a whole variety of terrorist groups'.[122] But Wilkinson does not pause to consider how the ending of this alleged role might have harmed the activities of the terrorists. He concludes instead by listing those states who are 'still heavily involved' including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and the Taliban.[123]

Advance publicity for a new book by Wilkinson to be published in May 2009 explicitly dealing with state terrorism suggest that there is no movement in his position. It is said to focus on the 'major types of response to state terror since the Cold War', which already suggests that Western state terror will not be part of the analysis. Of the nine chapters in the book the chapter headings of the main case studies confirm this analysis:

  • Chapter 5 The Case of Saddam Hussein's terror against the Kurds and the International Response
  • Chapter 6 Indonesian Terror against East Timor Separatists and the International Response
  • Chapter 7 The Use of State Terror in the former Yugoslavia and the International Response
  • Chapter 8 Terror in Rwanda in 1994 and the Failure of International Response[124]

Disappointingly, but not surprisingly there is no sign of any attempt to deal with either western support for or Western planning and execution of terrorism. No chapters on the major use of terror by the US, UK and Israeli state.

Liberal democracy vs Communism, Fascism and terrorism

Wilkinson never misses a chance to praise Western governments or to excuse any of their misconduct as a product of rotten apples, mistakes, rogue agents etc and to engage in propagandistic smears against states and organisation not in the western orbit. The argument underlying this is the rigid distinction that he draws between liberal democracy and those forces challenging it. In the latter camp he includes the Communist bloc, fascism, terrorists and also left critics of capitalism and indeed his fellow academics.

Fascism vs conservatism

The 2nd Ed of Wilkinson's New Fascists

The distinction between liberal democracy and fascism is extended in Wilkinson's work on fascism. In it he makes a reasonable claim that 'we must be strict and consistent in our use of the term'.[125] He goes on to say that 'it is plainly an abuse of the term' to apply it to conservative and Christian Democrat parties in western Europe because:

The Conservative is an admirer and upholder of traditions, he is patriotic and a believer in the values oof authority, discipline and order. But this does not make him a fascist.[126]

The 'crucial distinction' is that 'modern' conservatives in the western democracies are 'totally committed to the principles and procedures of parliamentary democracy'[127] Alas, in practice matters are not so simple. Indeed it is well known and well documented that some of those in and associated with the conservative party in the 1970s and indeed the 1980s were not 'totally' committed to parliamentary democracy. All the talk of the possibility of a military government to counter the alleged threat of the unions and the left is testament to that. But we can make a stronger point, which is that Brian Crozier and the Institute for the Study of Conflict was heavily involved in this milieux and thus Wilkinson himself was connected to the very networks which at least considered the direct subversion of parliamentary democracy. Wilkinson himself always seems ambivalent about the means necessary to protect democracy. Almost always favouring measures which constrain and constrict democratic freedoms, but failing to recognise that this is what they do.

For example, In his first book on terrorism Wilkinson writes that 'if the government is provoked into introducing emergency powers, suspending habeas corpus, or invoking martial law, it confronts the paradox of suspending democracy to save it'.[128]

As an early critic put it 'his entire approach is based on the assumption that where forms of liberal democracy exist, repression necessarily does not. For him repression is identified purely and simply with a military mobilisation in defence of the established order.'[129] For Wilkinson, of course, the liberal democratic state only responds to provocation and thus may make poor decisions or misjudgements, never initiate repression to pursue sectional interests. An alternative view which makes rather more sense of the relationship between the state and elite interests both then and even more so now stresses the role of the state as an agency of repression. The role of the state is 'related to the class relations which it acts to maintain and reproduce'.[130] With only a rigid binary between 'democracy' and its enemies Wilkinson cannot conceive that the state might itself pursue interests. In the 1970s it was argued that 'developments within the state towards overt repression are not simply expressions of concern to safgeguard democracy, but also more fundamentally, action taken in defence of the structure of underlying capitalist relations'[131]

Admiration for the British State

The covers of British Perspectives on Terrorism, featuring a press photograph of the IRA in action in Belfast. Just the kind of photograph, terrorologists like Wilkinson might argue, that has the potential function of glorifying 'terrorism'.
Front cover

On Northern Ireland Wilkinson writes:

the British Army has achieved a truly impressive record in countering revolutionary war and major terrorist outbreaks around the world since 1945. British soldiers have shown enormous skill, courage and patience in carrying out these tasks, and their loyalty in carrying out instructions from the civil government has never been put in question. The army is steeped in the democratic ethos.[132]

As Alexander George notes - quoting the examples of torture in which the British army engaged after Internment was introduced in August 1971

Herman and O'Sullivan argue that given Wilkinson's state and corporate connections

it is perhaps understandable that his writings express effusive admiration for the British armed forces, wherever they may be and whatever they may be doing. They always strive to bring "stability" and "order" under difficult conditions, and they consistently display an amazing humanity and restraint under severe provocation.[133] Any abuses by the British armed forces are a result of "clumsiness," "mistakes," "errors of judgment," or "over-reaction."[134] Elsewhere he asserts that the media "must expose the propaganda of atrocities, defamations, and myths of the terrorists. They must call a murder a murder, not an 'act of revolutionary execution.'"[135] But for his own side, a murder may be called a "mistake" or "error in judgment".[136]

Order above law

Though Wilkinson couches his argument in apparently reasonable tones, referring regularly to the need for striking a balance between human rights and state repression. His conclusions are invariably in favour of repression. He has argued in favour of internment in northern Ireland and in the UK and in favour of both the death penalty and effectively extra judicial murder. In 1976 he argued in favour of the death penalty for terrorist on the grounds that 'the terrorist murderer will simply kill and kill again unless the State imposes the death penalty'. He concludes: 'To leave a convicted terrorist in gaol is to take a high risk that the terrorist will kill again. Therefore, the only good terrorist is a dead one'[137] In case there are doubts about the lengths the State should go to kill the terrorists Wilkinson gives us signposts on his attitude to extra-judicial killings. He argues in favour of violence of the sort that would fit his own definition of terrorism:

political leaders and decision-makers may need to make tough and unpleasant decisions to safeguard the security of state and citizens. It is no good having people at the top who are squeamish about the use of force, so soft and conscience torn about killing or locking up terrorists, that they are paralysed into inaction. Fighting terrorism... requires both moral and physical courage of a high order.[138]

In case there is any doubt about how this killing might be carried out Wilkinson is full of praise for its prime agent in the UK: the SAS. The regiment is said, along with the antiterrorist police, to be the 'most important practical resources' for tackling terrorism. He notes their 'spectacular success' in 'rescuing hostages' in the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980.[139] In 2001 he celebrates this 'brilliantly planned and executed' operation again[140] noting that it was 'executed' with 'impressive speed and efficiency'. According to Wilkinson, the success was that all the hostages were rescued and 'only one of the hostage takers survived'. Wilkinson does not say anything here about how or why the hostage takers 'did not survive'. According to eye witnesses, one was executed after being captured by one of the hostages and another two were executed by the SAS after they had surrendered, their weapons had been thrown out of the window and a white flag waved.[141]

Although by 2001 Wilkinson has rowed back from his position that the only good terrorist is a dead one,[142] he still seems positively to welcome what were in practice extrajudicial executions. An alternative explanation is that Wilkinson is simply unaware of the track record of the SAS and its specific conduct during the Iranian embassy siege. If this is claimed, it only further harms his reputation for any sort of expertise on political violence. In any case it is clear throughout his work that he has become progressively less likely to even mention the evidence or academic or other sources which cast any doubt on his thesis.

Disdain for critics

Wilkinson is disdainful of all critics of his position and of critics of liberal democracy in theory or practice. He is so disdainful that he rarely if ever refers to work critical of his position. He has certainly never published any extended discussion of the work of critics and does not even admit directly to its existence. In his three authored books on terrorism (1974, 1977 (2nd ed, 1986), 2001 (2nd ed, 2006)) he never once includes a reference to critics such as Schlesinger, Herman, Chomsky, George or any others referred to on this page. Nor does he ever refer to the work of critics of Western power. Not a mention in any of his books for work on the activities of the CIA or British intelligence, nothing on British or American propaganda, nothing on state killings in Ireland, Guatemala, Nicaragua etc etc. No mention of Blum's huge volume on US imperial abuses.

This is odd because if Wilkinson is an academic - as opposed to a propagandist - it is usual practice in parts of academia to at least refer to the existence of critics directly.

Frank Burton, in his 1978 review of the book, argued:

We have an un-critical acceptance of the pluralist theory of the state in the Western democracies, the state we must assume is a practice which effects the moral postulates of liberalism. Nowhere is this theory of the state argued for - it is presented - and nowhere are the arguments against pluralism confronted. Instead we have an author and a discourse that sees itself on such intellectual terra firma that all that is required is to snipe at one's intellectual opponents with such epithets as "armchair radicals", "the spoilt children of affluence", "vultures of doom", "crypto-revolutionaries" and, on Sartre and Marcuse,:"those embittered and ageing iconoclasts of the left". [78]

In the single case where he has an extended discussion of critical or radical views in his 1977 book Terrorism and the Liberal State[143] it is to accuse critics - specifically Herbert Marcuse and Jean-Paul Sartre - of being terrorist fellow travellers. This is the extent to which critics are admitted to exist - as dangerous polluter of young minds, as proto-terrorists as - not as academics at all, but as agents of terrorism. In all his subsequent books on terrorism he refers back to this analysis and it informs his account in each successive book or edition.

Elsewhere he is simply contemptuous. Thus Wilkinson, has suggested that debate about the meaning and use of the term 'terrorism' may simply be a device to obstruct 'anti-terrorist' policies:

The problems of establishing a degree of common understanding of the concept of terrorism have been vastly exaggerated. Indeed, I suspect that some have tried to deny that any common usage exists as a device for obstructing co-operation in policies to combat terrorism. [144]

As Miller notes:

For such writers the only worthwhile argument concerns how to increase the effectiveness of 'anti-terrorist' policies. Should we choose to question the assumptions in such an approach, the ideological policing of the counterinsurgents will label us as fellow travellers of the 'terrorists'. But in truth there is no universal agreement on the causes of the Northern Ireland conflict and the term 'terrorism' is not unambiguous in its meaning and use.[145]

Wilkinson suggests that critics of his kind of analysis are a challenge to democracy:

The obscenities and stones hurled against liberal democratic institutions at the height of the student revolt of the late 1960s by the spoiled children of Western affluence and privilege dramatically shattered the illusion that the sole forces remaining to challenge liberal democracy in the West were fascism and communism.[146]

The problem for Wilkinson seems to have been an excess of democracy and of education. He writes 'much of the politically motivated terrorism in liberal democracies for the past decade has been committed by the spoilt children of affluence... from comfortably off middle class homes with the "advantages" of higher education'[147]

Wilkinson fears that higher education itself could be one source of terrorism. He suspects his academic colleagues - or as he puts it:

a veritable zoo of conflicting sects and factions covering the whole spectrum of neo=Marxists and Third world revolutionism and anarchism [which] sprang up in the heart of Western Academia. And although these groups commonly identified with Third World revolutionary heroes such as Mao, Ho Chi-Minh and Guevara, their true intellectual mentors were figures such as Herbert Marcuse and Jean-Paul Sartre, embittered and ageing iconoclasts of the left who would never have been able to enjoy their freedom to spin fresh revolutionary doctrines and myths anywhere else but within the liberal societies they so profoundly despised.[146]

This brings us full circle and back to Wilkinson's role as a propagandist. His role with the Institute for the Study of Conflict, which seems to have been reasoanably close from at least 1976 to the mid to late 1980s, is of relevance since it was one of the right wing propaganda operations engaged in smearing allegedly left academics. Indeed an ISC report in 1977 gained some notoriety and has been described as "the closest British academic life got to a McCarthy-ite witch-hunt of radicals"[148]. Wilkinson's own rhetoric on this issue is strikingly similar to that in the Gould Report. The Times reported Gould’s view that: ‘The radical minorities examined in the report often disagreed with each other, but they had a common distaste, bordering at times upon sheer hatred for the liberal, tolerant society in which they moved.’ [149]

The Observer commented that: ‘The study group seems to believe with Professor Hayek and his disciple, Sir Keith Joseph, that true liberty is possible only in a capitalist, free market civilisation.’ [150]



Powerbase Resources

External Resources


For a full list of publications see: Paul Wilkinson: Publications


  1. Alan Crawford, 'Rising In The East', The Sunday Herald. 12 January 2003
  2. entry in Debrett's People of Today (Debrett's Peerage Ltd, November 2007)
  3. Vicky Allan, 'We are the guardians of the world', The Herald, 11 April 2004
  4. Dennis Barker, ‘Professor with a fatal fascination’, The Guardian, 7 December 1989
  5. entry in Debrett's People of Today (Debrett's Peerage Ltd, November 2007)
  6. P. Wilkinson Social Movement, Macmillan 1971
  7. As listed on the inside cover of the book on p. 2
  8. R. L. Nichols, review of Political Terrorism by Paul Wilkinson in The American Political Science Review, Vol. 72, No. 2, (Jun., 1978), pp. 660-661
  9. Daniel N. Nelson, review of Political Terrorism by Paul Wilkinson in The Journal of Politics, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Nov., 1976), pp. 1058-1059
  10. Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  11. P. Wilkinson (Ed.) British Perspectives on Terrorism, London: George Allen and Unwin, First published in 1981 as Vol 5 Nos 1 and 2 Terrorism: An International Journal, Crane Russak. p.9.
  12. The Economist, 29 October 1977
  13. Alec Hartley, ‘‘Haven’ for terrorists’, The Guardian, 19 October 1977, page 6
  14. Terrorism: International Dimensions, Answering the challenge, London: Institute for the Study of Conflict, Conflict Studies, No. 113, November 1979
  15. Institute for the Study of Conflict Ltd, Extract from the Report by the Members of the Council of Management on the Accounts for the Year Ending 30th June 1981, filed at Companies House on 9 November 1981
  16. Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 14 March 1989
  17. Alex Peter Schmid, Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories and literature (Amsterdam; Oxford: North-Holland, 1988) pp.146-147)
  18. Alex Peter Schmid, Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories and literature (Amsterdam; Oxford: North-Holland, 1988) pp.146-147)
  19. Carol Leonard, ‘City Diary: Terror tactics’, The Times, 4 January 1988
  20. Notes on Contributors in Eric Moonman, The Violent Society (London: Routledge, 1987)
  21. Richard Norton-Taylor and Hilary Wainwight, ‘The Media: How long can they keep us in the dark?, Guardian, 19 September 1988
  22. ‘Sinn Fein chief's TV invitation withdrawn; Gerry Adams’, The Times, 9 September 1988
  23. Richard Norton-Taylor and Hilary Wainwright, ‘The Media: How long can they keep us in the dark?, Guardian, 19 September 1988
  24. Richard Norton-Taylor and Hilary Wainwright, ‘The Media: How long can they keep us in the dark?, Guardian, 19 September 1988
  25. Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  26. David Sapstead, ‘Pilots warn of poor security standards at most airports’, The Times, 2 January 1989
  27. 'West not helpless in fight against terrorism: expert', Toronto Star, 18 August 1989
  28. Barnaby Jameson, 'Terror goes on the agenda', The Times, 3 June 1991
  29. Barnaby Jameson, 'Terror goes on the agenda', The Times, 3 June 1991
  30. Barnaby Jameson, 'Terror goes on the agenda', The Times, 3 June 1991
  31. entry in Debrett's People of Today (Debrett's Peerage Ltd, November 2007)
  32. William Greaves, 'A thinking man's war', The Times, 9 May 1989
  33. Paul Wilkinson, ‘A way to avoid the no-win war’, The Guardian, 3 January 1991
  34. Grania Langdon-Down, ‘Terror groups could hit Britain before Gulf War’, Press Association, 31 December 1990
  35. Quentin Cowdry and Stewart Tendler, ‘Yard tightens security in alert for terror acts’, The Times, 11 January 1991
  36. Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  37. ‘French Foreign Minister's Visit to France: Friction over ETA’, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 19 November 1980, SOURCE: Madrid in Spanish for Europe 1830 gmt 17 Nov 80 (i) Excerpts from Paris dispatch by Carlos Castillo
  38. David Leigh, ‘The victims are still piling up’, The Guardian, 15 November 1980, pg. 17
  39. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  40. Institute for the Study of Conflict Ltd, Extract from the Report by the Members of the Council of Management on the Accounts for the Year Ending 30th June 1981, filed at Companies House on 9 November 1981
  41. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  42. David Leigh, ‘Euro-moves to combat growth of terrorism, The Guardian, 14 November 1980, p.3
  43. Paul Wilkinson, ‘Protecting innocents’, The Observer, 23 November 1980, p.12
  44. Minutes of Evidence of the Select Committee on European Union (17 November 2004)
  45. 1982/83 Cmnd. 8803 Home Office: Review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976. (Chairman: Lord Jellicoe)
  46. 1983/84 Cmnd. 9222 Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 Review; Northern Ireland Office: Review of the operation of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. Chairman: Sir George Baker
  47. 1987/88 Cm 264 Home Office: Review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984
  48. Inquiry Into Legislation Against Terrorism (CM3420, vol 2) (1996), authorship credited in Wilkinson’s entry in Debrett's People of Today (Debrett's Peerage Ltd, November 2007)
  49. Colin Brown, ‘Ministers said to be soft on terrorism’, The Independent, 2 November 1996
  50. Legislation Against Terrorism (Cm 4178), A consultation paper, Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by Command of Her Majesty December 1998
  51. Part 4. of the Explanatory Notes to Terrorism Act 2000 reads: “The Act builds on the proposals in the Government's consultation document Legislation against terrorism (Cm 4178), published in December 1998. The consultation document in turn responded to Lord Lloyd of Berwick's Inquiry into legislation against terrorism (Cm 3420), published in October 1996.”
  52. Hansard HL Volume 675 Column 1436 (21 November 2005)
  53. Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Defence to the Select Committee on Defence on seminars held on the Strategic Defence Review
  54. 1994/95 HC 837 Defence Select Committee: Minutes of proceedings of the Defence Select Committee, session 1994/95; 1995/96 HC 300 Defence Select Committee: NATOs southern flank. Defence Select Committees third report with proceedings. (Including HC 373 1994/95)
  55. Oral Evidence of Paul Wilkinson to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
  56. Hansard HC, Volume No. 372 Column 629 (14 September 2001)
  57. World At One How to dismantle the terror networks?, 13 September 2001
  58. see BBC News Vote 2001 Candidates Donald Anderson and Speech given by Professor Alex P. Schmid on the occasion of Paul’s retrial. Accessed from URL <> on 28 June 2008, 13:47:59
  59. Minutes of Evidence of the Select Committee on European Union (17 November 2004)
  60. Transport Committee Formal Minutes, PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE Wednesday 19 October 2005
  61. Herman and O'Sullivan, 1989, p. 91
  62. Herman and O'Sullivan, 1989, p. 92
  63. P. Wilkinson (Ed.) (1981) British Perspectives on Terrorism, London: George Allen and Unwin
  64. On the British government propaganda strategy see: David Miller Manipulating the message:Policy change that gagged army's dirty tricks brigade The Irish News 7 January 1997. On the British tactic of using third parties to promote their propaganda messages see: Northern Ireland Information Service: Background Briefing Documents and Northern Ireland Information Service: Using other people both excerpted from D. Miller 1994 Don't Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media, London: Pluto.
  65. Technology and Terrorism (1993) Edited by Paul Wilkinson, London: Routledge.
  66. Aviation Terrorism and Security edited by Paul Wilkinson and Brian M. Jenkins. ISBN10 0714644633 | ISBN13 9780714644639 | Publication Date: 1st March 1999 | Edition: Revised edition | London : Frank Cass, 177 p. : ill.( Cass series on political violence, ISSN 1365-0580)
  67. Martin Dillon Killer in Clowntown: Joe Doherty, the IRA and the Special Relationship, London: Hutchinson, 1992. p. xxvi.
  68. See David Miller, Don't Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the media, London: Pluto Press, 1994., p. 129-30
  69. Paul Foot (1989) Who Framed Colin Wallace? pp. 265/6.
  70. Robin Ramsay (1999) The Wilson plots, Variant, issue 8 Summer 1999
  71. For an account of Wallace's work in Ireland, in collaboration with Tugwell, see Liz Curtis, Propaganda War, pp. 118-24,229-74: on some of Wallace's admissions of abuse, See "Wilson, MI5 and the Rise of Thatcher."
  72. This correspondence, along with an analysis by Robin Ramsay of the letter that Wilkinson passed along as "interesting," is given in Lobster, no. 16 (Spring 1988).
  73. See Ibid.
  74. TELEVISION AND RADIO, The Guardian, 3 January 1987
  75. Richard Ingrams, The Observer, 30 September 1990, p.20
  76. details of the search used are as follows: All English Language News > (((paul wilkinson) AND (terrorism))) and DATE(>=[year]-01-01 and <=[year]-12-31)
  77. Frank Burton The politics of legitimacy:Struggles in a Belfast community, London: RKP, 1978.
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 Frank Burton, Review of Terrorism and the Liberal State by Paul Wilkinson British Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Summer, 1978), pp. 143-145.
  79. Schlesinger, P. (1978) ‘On the shape and scope of counter insurgency thought’, in G. Littlejohn, B. Smart, J. Wakefield and N. Yuval-Davis, (Eds), Power and the State, London: Croom Helm. p. 117
  80. Jeff Sluka, 'Hearts and Minds: Water and fish: Support for the IRA and INLA in a Northern Irish Ghetto' Unpublished Phd thesis, University of California: Berkeley, CA, 1986, cited in Rolston, Bill (1991) `Containment and its Failure: The British State and the Control of Conflict in Northern Ireland',in A. George (ed.), Western State Terrorism, Cambridge: Polity p. 66
  81. Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  82. Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  83. ‘CIA finds no proof of Soviet terror link’, The Times, Monday, Mar 30, 1981; pg. 5; Issue 60889; col D
  84. Patrick Brogan, ‘Mr Haig fears flood of trained terrorists From Patrick Brogan’, The Times, Thursday, Mar 19, 1981; pg. 6; Issue 60880; col G
  85. Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  86. ‘CIA finds no proof of Soviet terror link’, The Times, Monday, Mar 30, 1981; pg. 5; Issue 60889; col D
  87. 'USSR aid to terrorists', The Times, 4 April 1981; pg. 13; Issue 60894; col H
  88. Extract from Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 1989)
  89. Chilton Williamson, 'ANC: a Soviet task force?', National Review, 13 March 1987
  90. cited in Letter from David Miller to Paul Wilkinson, 17 March 1992
  91. File:Wilkinson 9 10 91.pdf from Paul Wilkinson to David Miller, 9 October 1991
  92. War Without Boundaries’, TIME, 31 October 1977; p.5
  93. Letter from David Miller to Paul Wilkinson, 17 March 1992
  94. Letter from Paul Wilkinson to David Miller, 25 March 1992
  95. Schlesinger, P. (1978) ‘On the shape and scope of counter insurgency thought’, in G. Littlejohn, B. Smart, J. Wakefield and N. Yuval-Davis, (Eds), Power and the State, London: Croom Helm. p. 117
  96. P. Wilkinson 'Terrorism and the Liberal State, Macmillan/New York University Press, 2nd Ed 1986) p. 56, cited in Alexander George, ´The Discipline of Terrorology´, in Alexander George (ed), Western State Terrorism (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 76 – 101.
  97. Alexander George, ´The Discipline of Terrorology´, in Alexander George (ed), Western State Terrorism (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 76 – 101. p. 77
  98. Paul Wilkinson, Introduction' in Paul Wilkinson and Magnus Ranstorp, (Eds), (2007) Homeland Security in the UK, London: Routledge. p. 4
  99. eg Gearty 1991; Thackrah 1987; Wilkinson 1978; 1990; Wright 1991.
  100. Irish Information Partnership 1990.
  101. Wilkinson 1990:27.
  102. The classic account of this is John McGuffin The Guineapigs, London: Penguin Books, 1974. This was banned by the British government one week after publication, but not before selling 20,000 copies, suggesting that Wilkinson might have noticed its existence. On the later allegations of torture in custody see Peter Taylor’s Beating the terrorists? : interrogation at Omagh, Gough, and Castlereagh Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1980.
  103. Lord Gardiner, ‘The Minority Report’ in Report of the committee of Privy Counsellors appointed to consider authorised procedures for the interrogation of persons suspected of terrorism, London: HMSO, March 1972.
  104. The officer second in command of 1 Para on Bloody Sunday – now promoted to General Sir Mike Jackson noted in 2008:’that statement by the Heath government appears to have gone into a black hole… I don’t know the answer to that.’(BBC ‘On Whose Orders?’ Panorama BBC One 8.30pm on Monday 25 February 2008) At the time of the abuse Jackson was Chief of the General Staff and thus directly respoinsible. On the torture see also Andrew Sparrow, ‘Ministers accused of ignoring evidence of abuse in Iraq’, Tuesday 29 April 2008 18.03 BST.
  105. Rosie Cowan ‘Families win IRA human rights ruling: Damages for relatives of terrorists shot by army and police’, Saturday 5 May 2001 01.03 BST For a catalogue of the killings amounting to more than 300, see Bill Rolston, with Mairead Gilmartin Unfinished Business: State Killings and the Quest for Truth Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 2000.
  106. Owen Bowcott ‘Shoot to kill inquiry to be reopened Northern Ireland police ombudsman will re-examine John Stalker files’ The Guardian, Friday 20 July 2007.
  107. BBC Online ‘Army “colluded” with loyalist killers’Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2003, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
  108. BBC Online ‘Army “colluded” with loyalist killers’Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2003, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
  109. On which see: Brian Wheeler ‘Wilson 'plot': The secret tapes’, BBC Online, Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 13:55 GMT,; Jonathan Freedland ‘Enough of this cover-up: the Wilson plot was our Watergate’, Wednesday 15 March 2006 00.02 GMT; John Booth ‘Harold Wilson: Elected by the people; Undone by the plotters’, Spinwatch, 20 March 2006,
  110. Bill Rolston, '"An effective mask for terror": Democracy, death squads and Northern Ireland', Crime, Law & Social Change (2005) 44: 181–203
  111. Though Wilkinson only mentions explicitly ETA and the FARC in Colombia. Terrorism Versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response, Second Edition revised and updated (2006) Frank Cass. p. 4.
  112. Ibid. p. 4
  113. All quotes from p. 5
  114. p. 5
  115. Political Terrorism, P. 32
  116. p. 36
  117. Schlesinger, P. (1978) ‘On the shape and scope of counter insurgency thought’, in G. Littlejohn, B. Smart, J. Wakefield and N. Yuval-Davis, (Eds), Power and the State, London: Croom Helm. p. 119
  118. p. 136-151
  119. Terrorism versus Democracy The Liberal State Response by Paul Wilkinson London: Frank Cass, 2001. p. 19-21
  120. Anoushiravan Ehteshamy, 'Perspectives on Terrorism', Third World Quarterly, 1988, Vol. 10 No 1: 365-73.
  121. p. 20
  122. p. 21
  123. p. 21
  124. Routledge Political Violence: New textbooks and Recommended Reading 2009
  125. Wilkinson, The New Fascists, London: Pan books, Rev Ed. 1983, p. 187
  126. p. 187
  127. p. 187
  128. Political Terrorism, p. 109, cited in Schlesinger, 1980, p. 119
  129. Schlesinger, P. (1978) ‘On the shape and scope of counter insurgency thought’, in G. Littlejohn, B. Smart, J. Wakefield and N. Yuval-Davis, (Eds), Power and the State, London: Croom Helm. p. 119
  130. Schlesinger, Ibid. p. 119
  131. Ibid, p. 119
  132. Terrorism and the Liberal State 2nd Ed., 1986, p. 159, cited in George, A. (1991) ‘The discipline of terrorology’, in A. George (ed.), Western State Terrorism, Routledge.
  133. "It is doubtful whether any other army in the world could have performed the internal security role in Northern Ireland with such humanity, restraint and effectiveness," Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State, 2nd ed, (New York: New York University Press, 1986). p. 159.
  134. Ibid., pp. 161, 163.
  135. Paul Wilkinson, "Real World Problems of the Terrorist Organization," in Merari. On Terrorism and Combatting Terrorism, p. 78.
  136. The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror by Edward S. Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, New York: Pantheon, 1989.
  137. Terrorism Versus Liberal Democracy, Institute for the Study of conflict, p. 13
  138. Cited in George, 1992, p. 90
  139. Wilkinson, 1981, p. 9.
  140. p. 132
  141. Peter Taylor, 'Six days that shook Britain', The Guardian, 24 July 2002,,4273,4467433,00.html
  142. He comes out in favour of the legal process, saying it is the 'only satisfactory' response by a liberal democratic state - p. 116
  143. Chapter 3, p. 71-80
  144. Wilkinson 1990: 27
  145. Miller, David, (1994), Don't Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media London: Pluto. p. 3-4
  146. 146.0 146.1 Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State, London, Macmillan, 1977. p. 71
  147. Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State, London, Macmillan, 1977. p. 93
  148. Robert M. Young introduction to online version of 'Mystifications in the Scientific Foundations of Sociology' Science or Society?: Bulletin of the Cambridge Society for Social Responsibility in Science No. 2, June 1971, pp. 9-11, Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM
  149. 'Marxists attacking education', The Times, Wednesday, Sep 21, 1977; pg. 1; Issue 60114; col E
  150. Bernard Crick, ‘Red sails on the campus’, The Observer, 25 September 1977
  151. Who's Who in Scotland, 2003, Kilmarnock: Carrick Media, p. 563