In the week since the attacks in Paris there have been several articles published by historians that both set the violence in context and analyse the response to it.
I recommend reading:
Dr Caroline Campbell (University of North Dakota), ‘A postcard from Paris’, http://ndquarterly.org/2015/11/19/a-postcard-from-paris-rejecting-the-idea-of-civilizational-crisis-after-the-attacks-of-november-13/
Prof Mark Humphries (Swansea University), ‘The Paris attacks and the abuse of history’, http://gorffennol.swansea.ac.uk/?p=454
Dr Gavin Murray-Miller (Cardiff University), ‘The Paris attacks and France’s Republican tradition’, http://www.historytoday.com/gavin-murray-miller/paris-attacks-and-france%E2%80%99s-republican-tradition