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Making Sense of Suicide Missions$
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Diego Gambetta

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276998

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276998.001.0001

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Dying Without Killing: Self‐Immolations, 1963–2002

Dying Without Killing: Self‐Immolations, 1963–2002

(p.173) 5 Dying Without Killing: Self‐Immolations, 1963–2002
Making Sense of Suicide Missions

Michael Biggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of self-immolation in the last four decades, from an original database of over 500 individual acts. It is divided into five main sections. The first sketches the history of self-immolation. The second examines the prevalence of self-immolation among causes, across countries, and over time. The third section focuses on the orchestration of the individual action. The fourth section tackles the central question — why? — by elucidating the various motivations for self-immolation. The final section considers the effects of the action.

Keywords:   self-immolation, collective causes, fire, suffering, motivation

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