This Editorial—which can be considered as a follow-up and elaboration on a section in my Editorial on patriotism in the journal’s preceding issue (Ten Dam 2014: esp. 6-8)—describes my principles on how best to define any concepts and phenomena in time and space in the social sciences (not just in the field of ethnogeopolitics, though it is especially relevant and useful to that field). These principles revolve around my tripartite distinction between action, actor and motive or human drive. The consequent conceptualisations I apply in my own research on brutalisation i.e. the increasing resort to terrorism, ‘brigandry’ (brigandage), gangsterism and other forms of violence (see Appendix)1 violating local and/or international norms—norms that are ultimately based on conscience, empathy and honour (Ten Dam 2014: 8-9).



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