Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Global Terrorism: Multilateral Institutional Responses to an Extraordinary Threat

Eric Rosand

April 2007

International Peace Institute


In recent years, the traditional tendency to treat nonstate actors that resort to terrorist violence as a domestic issue has given way to an increasing focus on international—and multilateral—responses.1 Nationalist/ separatist terrorist groups such as the Kurdistan Peoples Party (PKK) in Turkey, the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) generated only limited responses at the multilateral level. The emergence of transnational terrorism in the 1970s led to a spate of international law-making to facilitate inter-state cooperation in response to hijacking, hostage-taking and other forms of terrorism. But only with the emergence of Al Qaeda, with its extraordinary global reach, has the transnational threat moved to the top of the agenda of international fora such as the United Nations and G8.