Female terrorism: a review

Karen Jacques, Paul J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The sharp growth in the number of publications examining female involvement in terrorism has produced a valuable but un-integrated body of knowledge spread across many disciplines. In this paper, we bring together 54 publications on female terrorism and use qualitative and quantitative analyses to examine the range of theoretical and methodological approaches in these papers. Using a content analysis, we identify six primary research foci: Portrayal in media, Feminism, Interviews with terrorists, Group roles, Motivation and recruitment, and Environmental enablers. Results revealed a reliance on secondary rather than primary data, narrative rather than statistical comparisons, and descriptions rather than explanations of events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-515
Number of pages17
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Female terrorism
  • Meta-analysis
  • Motivations
  • Radicalization
  • Recruitment
  • Review
  • Suicide bombers
  • Qualitative findings
  • Women
  • Metasynthesis
  • Experience
  • Violence


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