This essay builds on Arnold Berleant’s concept of the negative sublime and his less-appreciated image of the vicious lottery to engage the ongoing discussion about the importance of aesthetic analysis for understanding terrorism. Sociological definitions of aesthetics and terrorism are presented as potential tools to aid in the analyses of terrorist aesthetics. Three aesthetic types of terrorism are developed in the tradition of Weberian sociological ideal typification. The article discusses the appropriateness and applicability of that typology for enriching our understanding of terrorism and counterterrorism.

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Aesthetics Commons



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