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Posted on March 8th, 2013, by

The terror attacks committed by Breivik in Norway has shaken the Norwegian society and put under the question current policies conducted by the government and policy-makers. Traditionally, Norway was an open, democratic country, but the terror attack committed by Breivik provoked the heat debate within the Norwegian society concerning the introduction of stricter laws and regulations, which can provide the higher degree of security for citizens, even though citizen would have to sacrifice certain rights and liberties. In such a context, it is important to analyze the terror attack and motivation of Breivik in the theoretical framework to understand the extent to which the terror attack was motivated and to assess risks of the repetition of similar terror attacks in Norway and other countries.

In terms of Richard Emerson’s power dependence theory, psychological relations and the strife for power are the major drivers of Brievik decision to launch the terror attack. He wanted to prove his power and ability to change the society through the terror attack. He used the method to prove his power and to gain the recognition of the society intentionally because terror attacks always attract the public attention, especially in Norway, where crime rates are low, whereas terror attacks have not been committed within last few decades. Obviously, Breivik strives to gain the power and recognition of the society. He refers to the order of Knight Templar, positioning himself as the leader of the order. Therefore, he wants to gain the power and position in the society but he chooses the terror attack as the main method to change his relationships with the society and to show other people and his close social environment that he is a powerful person.

At the same time, Michel Foucault’s grand theory stands on the ground that the increase of governmentality leads to the lack of individual’s ability to influence policies conducted by the state. Hence, the terror attack committed by Breivik is the response of the individual to the increase of governmentality. What is meant here is the fact that Breivik felt being unable to influence policies conducted by the government and he felt being unimportant for the state. Nevertheless, he had his ideas and beliefs, which he wanted to stand for and convey to the public. As he had no opportunities to convey his ideas to the audience and make them influential in Norwegian politics, he used the terror attack to make the government and society to listen to him and his ideas.

Daniel Bell’s grand theory stands on the ground of the industrial postindustrial relationships. Breivik has values of the industrial society but Norway has already shifted toward the postindustrialism. Hence, Breivik uses the terror attack as the method to turn the development of the Norwegian society back to industrial values. In such a way, Beiverik committed the terror attack to make the society change the way of its development and respect traditional values.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the terror attack committed by Breivik is the manifestation of the disagreement of the individual with governmental policies and his attempt to gain the power and influence in the society to turn people to his values.

Works Cited
Farganis, James. Readings in Social Theory; The classical tradition to post modernism, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.
Prime Minister: Norway Still an Open Society’ Despite the Horror’. CNN. 2011.
Ritzer, George. Contemporary Sociological theory; and it’s classical roots. New York: McGraw Hill, 2003.

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