The radical community: A comparative analysis of the social background of ETA, IRA, and Hezbollah
Sociologus 55.2005:239-258
Keywords: ETA, IRA, Hezbollah, regression and function, functions of regression, survival and terrorism, terrorism

##The question surrounding the population strata backing, supporting, and protecting terrorist groups poses a significant gap within the field of terrorism research. The present contribution addresses the ethnic-nationalist and, in certain cases. religious support milieu of terrorist groups which can be termed radical community. Radical communities come into being under specific circumstances as a reaction to external attacks on the group. From a development perspective, they can be regarded as a form of collective "regression", which nonetheless proves to be highly functional for the defense of the group, especially in facilitating its survival in the face of outside repression. Besides the factors leading to the emergence of radical communities, this contribution deals with the relationships of these communities towards their "avantgarde" (i.e. the terrorists themselves) in general, and under the specific conditions of extended armed conflict.##