Posts Tagged ‘political violence’
Juha, the HD’s resident EXPERT on all things political violence, attended the Marc Sageman lecture and offered his immediate pre-blog analysis below. Be sure to check his blog for the FULL WRITE-UP in the coming days… Unfortunately the HD couldn’t attend.
‘Understanding terror networks’ was the topic, i.e. understanding the emergence of extremist violence in Western societies. He was articulate, detached and generally quite thoughtful in presenting his argument. A rare pleasure when going to think tank events on terrorism. Knew the man by reputation but seeing him speak live was a treat.
-Political violence normally emerges in a specific counter-cultural context, which entails a active core group who has utopian ideal of what society should be like, and rejects the society and the culture which it inhabits (and if they are foreigners, also their parent society/culture).
-This leads to two types of ‘radicalisation’: violent extremism (think particularly nasty political actors which do not exhibit violent behaviour) and extremist violence.
-These active groups emerge from counter-cultural blobs (a loose, amorphous group of people) which share a feeling of alienation from their host society, who do not necessarily act upon it, and the groups are lead by societal entrepreneurs, who share a feeling of moral outrage by the failure of the non-violent forms of the counter-culture to have an impact. Hence, the go from violent extremism to extremist violence.
-These social entrepreneurs become the guardians of their imagined communities, develop a martial identity and essentially become self-perceived ‘soldiers’.
-Their activities are shifting more to the online domain, which has also seen the inclusion of females and adolescents to these active groups, some of which exist solely online and produce ‘lone wolf’ attacks.
I think those would be the main points.
Ambassador Nicholas Burns is speaking at the LSE on Tuesday the 13th at 6.30pm on the “Global Challenges for Europe and America” (so basically the global challenges for America… The HD kids, he kids, he just makes a little joke).
He is speaking again at the House of Commons the following day on “The U.S. Perspective on Afghanistan and Iran”. Both events are not to be missed! The HD will be rolling with his usual entourage so be sure to holler if you see us! As Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the State Department, Ambassador Burns was the third-ranking official after the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State.
ADDED: Be sure to skip lunch and catch Marc Sageman speaking (quote: “Afghanistan is not in our vital interest – there’s nothing for us there.”) on “Understanding Terror Networks- The Turn to Political Violence” at the House of Commons on Tuesday the 13th at 1pm! If you can’t skip lunch, read his book at your desk! The HD has been led to believe that Juha will be in attendance. His academic specialty is political violence so the HD looks forward to some festive questions!