I am deep into editing a paper about looking at terrorism from the perspective of OT and organizational studies. Its been fun and allowed me to go back to the more recently resurgent grand theorizing of the likes of Manuel Castells, Charles Tilly, Ulrich Beck, and Anthony Giddens.
My initial reaction is that many of the themes of the grand social theory have been discussed and applied to terrorism. These include the idea that Islamic terrorism is very much a globalization phenomenon; the leaderless, self-organizing organizational structure of terrorism; the shifting nature of identity in the information era. There are more for sure.
I am not sure anyone has connected all the dots between the big picture of the theory of the network society and the multi-dimensional reality of Islamic terrorism (especially Al Qaeda). One research task, it seems to me, to confirm that Al Qaeda is not so unique is to look at how “old line” terrorist groups are adapting (or not) to the contours of th enetwork society. It may be that this ork has already been done and i just haven’t found it yet. Suggestions are welcome, of course. :<)