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To carry out a new research, review of old related literature is an important factor for constructing a concrete and solid building of any research work. One should not neglect or leave even a minor thing only because it was of the past or should not be accepted without any concrete evidence because a new idea has been given by some one. It is considered essential to link previous knowledge or work of some one with the new thought. It means that it is considered obvious that to work on new idea or theme our earlier understanding on the subject must be kept in the mind. It is also essential for having done appraisal of the previous study on the subject before starting a fresh one because of reason that one could find new ideas and explore new avenues. Moreover the work of previous searchers would save ones time that he can avoid working on the same issue or idea. In this literature review an attempt has been made to take survey of studies, which has relevance to the presented problem. Sometimes it happens that the studies under considerations could not be classified into the required areas. This review has been intended to present a background to the studies conducted on effects of terrorism world wide in general and in Pakistan in particular, starting from incident of 9/11 to the date and to provide a launching pad for the formulation of hypothesis.


Terrorism has contaminated our society with a contagious disease that is spreading faster than any transmittable virus we have ever known in our country. It is not Anthrax. It is the stress and worries that coming out from the open wound inflicted on us by unpredictable brutal acts of terrorism. It is affecting our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. The more we are exposed, more we are affected by the act of terrorism and the longer the menace continues the more passionate and extreme our reactions will be.

As these attacks are deliberate, tremendously brutal, and involved huge amount of sufferers, there is possibility for many people to suffer long long-lasting and permanent psychological effects. Even those who only watched the events unfolding on TV may experience and suffer strong psychological disorders and reactions.

Many researches have shown that while most people are open to the traumatic events but do not have lasting problems associated with their exposure, many may experience mild stress reactions, and 20% or more may develop clinically significant psychological problems. If considerable distress continues for longer duration, becomes more severe over the period of time or it may interferes with one's ability to operate in day to day life.

After the incident of 9/11 a new era of terrorism has began, which is increasing day by day. The acts of terrorism are increasing day by day, consequently the effects are showing its toll now, as people are focusing to study the effects of those stresses which are being created due to the act of terrorism. Initially it affected every common person and created tremendous pressures on them and now it has changed its direction and people from Special Forces / security are the main target of act of terrorism. Little studies have been carried out to study the effects of terrorism on them.

Terrorism is not a new subject, and even though it has been there in one or the other shape, since the beginning of modern history but it is still hard to define. Terrorism has been described differently as both a tactic and a strategy; an offense or a holy duty; a justified reaction to opposition and an unbearable hatred. Obviously, it depends upon whose point of view is being presented. Terrorism is used by a weaker side as an effective tactic in case of a conflict. As a form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a little cost. Due to the mysterious nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to prevent. That is why preemption is being considered to be most important in this kind of war. Most of the time, terrorism has been a mean to take on a conflict without the opponent realizing the nature of the threat, taking terrorism as a criminal activity. Because of the uniqueness, terrorism has turn out to be more and more common among those pursuing unimaginative goals throughout the world. But despite its popularity, terrorism has remains a vague concept.

On 30 January 1795 the word terrorism was used in English language in the British news paper 'The Times'. The extract reads: "There exists more than one system to overthrow our liberty. Fanaticism has raised every passion; Royalism has not yet given up its hopes, and Terrorism feels bolder than ever."

The term "terrorism" comes from French terrorisme, from Lawtin: 'terror', "great fear", "dread", related to the Latin verb terrere, "to frighten".

Even within the Government, agencies in United States and other, responsible for different functions in the ongoing fight against terrorism are not very clear about the exact definition of terrorism, they use different definitions.

The United States Department of Defense defines it as the intended use of illegitimate violence or threat to instill fear in the common masses; planned to pressurize or to threaten governments or societies in the chase of their goals that are generally political, spiritual, or ideological. If we critically see this definition, there are three key elements-cruelty, terror, and coercion-and each element produce horror in its victims.

The FBI says that terrorism is the illegal use of force and brutality against persons or property to frighten or compel a government, the civilians, or any segment thereof, in achieving the political or social objectives. The U.S. Department of State defines it to be a deliberate politically-motivated violence carries out against non-Military targets by sub-national groups or underground agents, usually intended to influence a spectators.

Other than the United States, there are greater variations in the definitions of terrorism. The question of a definition of terrorism has haunted the debate among states for decades. A first attempt to arrive at an internationally acceptable definition was made under the League of Nations, but the convention drafted in 1937 never came into existence. The UN Member States still have no agreed-upon definition. Terminology consensus would, however, be necessary for a single comprehensive convention on terrorism, which some countries favour in place of the present 12 piecemeal conventions and protocols.

The lack of agreement on a definition of terrorism has been a major obstacle to meaningful international countermeasures. Cynics have often commented that one state's "terrorist" is another state's "freedom fighter".

If terrorism is defined strictly in terms of attacks on non-military targets, a number of attacks on military installations and soldiers' residences could not be included in the statistics.

In order to cut through the Gordian definitional knot, terrorism expert A. Schmid suggested in 1992 in a report for the then UN Crime Branch that it might be a good idea to take the existing consensus on what constitutes a "war crime" as a point of departure. If the core of war crimes - deliberate attacks on civilians, hostage taking and the killing of prisoners - is extended to peacetime, we could simply define acts of terrorism as "peacetime equivalents of war crimes".

Proposed Definitions of Terrorism

1. League of Nations Convention (1937)

"All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public".

2. UN Resolution language (1999)

(a) Strongly condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by who so ever committed;

(b) Reiterates that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify them". (GA Res. 51/210 Measures to eliminate international terrorism)

(c ) Short legal definition proposed by A. P. Schmid to United Nations Crime Branch (1992):

Act of Terrorism = Peacetime Equivalent of War Crime

3. Academic Consensus Definition

"Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought" (Schmid, 1988).

The United Nations finally shaped its definition in 1992 as an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated ferocious action, employed by covert individuals, groups or state actors, for distinctive, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets." The most commonly accepted academic definition starts with the U.N. definition quoted above, and adds two sentences totaling another 77 words on the end; containing such verbose concepts as "message generators" and 'violence based communication processes." Less specific and considerably less verbose, the British Government definition of 1974 is"…the use of violence for political ends, and that Pakistani government has includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public, or any section of the public, in fear."

History of Terrorism

Terrorism in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country that has been flooded in the recent past with the acts of terrorism largely because Pakistani government has joint hands together with the United States in the global war on terror. Currently however, the biggest threat to the state and citizens of Pakistan emerges from killing of civilian people and security agencies like police, CIA, and all those related to providing security to achieve their political goals. Origination of terrorism can be attributed to General Zia ul Haq's Islamization policy in the 1980s. His tenure of government had seen Pakistan's involvement in Russia and Afghan War which led to greater influx of ideologically driven Arabs in Afghanistan in the tribal areas. The state and its intelligence agency ISA in alliance with the USA and CIA encouraged the Mujahideen to fight the proxy war against the Soviet Union, most of which were never disarmed after the war. Some of these groups were later activated under the behest of the state in the form of Lashkar e taiba, and others were encouraged like Taliban to achieve state's agenda in Kashmir and Afghanistan. The same groups are now taking on the state itself.

From mid of 2007 to late 2009, more than 5,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians. The attacks have been attributed to a number of sources, sectarian violence, the easy availability of guns and explosives of a kalishnikov culture and influx of ideologically driven Afghan Arabs based in or near Pakistan, Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, Pakistan's thousands of fundamentalist madrassas which are thought by some to provide training for little except jihad secessionists movements, blamed on regionalism problematic in a country with Pakistan's diverse cultures, languages, traditions and customs

The concept of terrorism and its effects on the performance of professionals have been widely studied in almost every corner of the world. Many studies have also been carried in Pakistan also, but results of those studies have never been brought to the surface due to the lack of interest of the higher authorities or slackness of the individuals. Many researchers and professionals have looked at the relationship between both concepts of which the large amount of literature in this domain give evidence. Even in the last ten years, the terrorism research produced hundreds of articles and papers on this subject.

The aim of this paper is to present a systematic review of the literature in the area of effects of terrorism in general and its effects on the performance of professionals in particular, in order to find out whether there are relations between terrorism and job characteristics and performance. First the main theoretical frameworks used in this domain will be discussed, and subsequently the empirical studies that were published will be explored. In order to achieve this aim an extensive summary of the various studies undertaken will be provided.

In total 135 articles have been scanned and found relevant. These articles have been screened as being relevant by reading the abstracts, and in cases of doubts, the whole article. A few papers were deleted because they obviously didn't match the purpose of the study. More-over, some articles showed up in both searches, and therefore appeared twice in the final data-base. The under mentioned key words were used find out the relevant articles and books.

Keywords used in the literature research Group

Key words

Key words related to terrorism and its effects on performance.


Stress and terrorism

Coping with stress and terrorism

Psychological effects of terrorism

Economic effects of terrorism