This writer does not claim to know or have researched the cause sof terrorism deeply (or in any way actually) to be able to prescribe any miracle solution. That is certainly not the intent here.
But a very evident root cause that seems to be completely overlooked, is adolescence.
Teens and late teens in all countries, any possible civic strata, by rules of human development are prone to opposing themselves to anything in the surrounding world. That growth period is supposed to lead to them standing on their own, through gaining the understanding who they actually are, and demonstrating it, too; starting out as their parents’ offspring but growing into an individ.
Quite normal and ordinary to that period then is, that the young person in his/her powerful attempt to “break free” and find the true himself/herself, opposes himself/herself to (basically) the whole world.
Quite normal and ordinary then is, that such young persons do not like anything outside of themselves and consequently (think of the person they have thus become!) do not even like themselves.
Now, in different contries and different social strata, these young people find and follow different “recipes” for expressing and living through this rage and angst towards the rest of the world. Different ways of protesting, but where protest against the social system with its limitations, and against the government as the most evident actor, is not at all rare.
They also search for and find, new idols whom to mimick and from whom to learn, who then most probably also oppose everything the adolescent him/herself hates.
This writer here then humbly believes that the new wave of terrorism to some extent is simply a current trendy recipe channelling the ageless teenage rage and protest. It must sound noble, for those who believe in the cause, and romantic and dramatic, and teens are suckers for all of the above, and despise anything material or mondane. Everything is either black, or white. No shades. No lowly compromise. Don’t you remember? 🙂
Once a maturing person gets past it, and has at least a bit of capacity for self-reflection and self-analysis, he/she will recognise it. But that unfortunately may be wisdom acquired too late, then, while at the age when it would be of best help and most useful, no one tells those young people what is happening to them and how to best overlive.
This writer then humbly believes, that our school curriculas should include the discipline of developmental psychology from the age when it in fact becomes relevant to the students, much like the combined discipline of science is now being offered from the very first school years in a suitably simple form. A first-grader can look at the pictures of an orange and a sugary sweet and understand if he/she is told that one is healthy and the other is not. And that knowledge will stick even if not immediate result follows (it maybe follows years later).
While in the short term, probably, some kind of social advertising could be utilised, to distribute clear and catching messages fast, and in the medium term, other work with the relevant age groups developed and planned, with strong input from the people who actually can and know to help – the psychologists.
On the same subject:
Motivation and background sources of Terrorism in Europe: The French Example