please right 2 comments 100 word each to both discussions:
Terrorism, Radicalization and De-radicalization
Week 3 Discussion 3 HLS 6010
To understand fully the process that creates a radical terrorist group, I think it is important to understand how they are radicalized, or rather, what factors influence their decision to stay with this group and follow their thinking.
The authors of the article Terrorism, Radicalization and Deradicalization, consider there to be three phases to radicalization, when viewed as part of the social identity theory; "A sensitivity phase, a group membership phase, and an action phase,"(Doosje, Moghaddam, Kruglanski, de Wolf, Mann, Reddes. 2016. p.79.) The argument presented is that group membership and inter-group context should be considered when looking at the formation of radicalization (Doosje,et.al.2016.p.82.) It is the characterization of an in-group against an `evil` out-group that presents a target for acts that are aimed to achieve societal and political changes(2016.p.82.) A group-level psychological process, in terms of belonging, social influence and polarization,(2016.p.82) is needed in order to understand radicalization.
Radical groups share common elements, such as perceiving a serious problem in society, being strongly dissatisfied with how the "current (political) institutions...deal with their problem"(2016. p.79-80), and the belief that the radicalized groups values are superior, creating an "us verses them distinction"(2016. p.80.) One of the biggest distinctions of a radical group is that they legitimize and approve of violence that is directed at those the group views as being the problem(p.81.)
The radicalization of a potential member begins by addressing a person`s uncertainty with their place in life, making them feel part of a group and the groups mission, and pointing out the faults of societal factors that they plan to correct. "Radical groups are particularly able to do this, as they have a clear profile, offer a solid structure and a black-and-white world view"(Doosje,et.al.2016.p.81.)This is what the authors call the `sensitivity phase`, and gives the recruit a sense of purpose to counteract their feeling of insignificance (2016.p.81.) An interesting factor the authors address is called `fraternal relative deprivation`, "the feeling of injustice that people experience when they identify with their group and perceive that their group has been treated worse than another group"(2016.p.81.) We can understand this believe to resonate more with the religiously based radical groups, rather than those who stand behind a particular political stance.
Then there is the group membership phase, where the recruit begins to take part in activities that make them feel more associated with the group. Starting in a marginal position, the recruit is motivated to show their loyalty (Doosje, et.al.2016.p.81,) beginning with small actions, such as talking down to a citizen who falls under the `them` distinction. To me this is similar to a high school clique, where members prove they share the mentality of the group they wish to be a part of. The third phase, the action phase, is when we see violence against the other groups; by stressing the non-human aspects of the out-group..., in combination with presenting the out-group as an acute threat to the in-group, people justify their violence towards that out-group"(2016.p.82.)
As a response against radicalization the authors believe in deradicalization, which "is a process in which people reject the ideology they once embraced" (Doosje, et.al.2016.p.82.) When speaking of the deradicalization, the authors of this article believe that a "person may be protected against radical influences by a shield of resilience," but as the influence of the group grows, "the radical group is making the person resilient against deradicalization influences from outside the group" (2016.p.81.)
After reading this article I can better understand the social identity theory of radicalization; but, I do question the effectiveness of de-radicalization. This method calls for a person to fully reject an ideology, which is usually most effective when a person is separated from the group, or at the least their commitment to that group ceases. This does not address the concerns of a group as a whole. Maybe the best way to address a radical group is to work on decreasing their members and fighting their ideology, but this does not put an end to the group. There will always be people who share their beliefs and are desperate to be a part of this group; everyone needs to feel they belong somewhere.
Doosje, B., Moghaddam, F. M., Kruglanski, A. W., de Wolf, A., Mann, L., & Feddes, A. R. (2016). Terrorism, radicalization and de-radicalization. Current Opinion in Psychology, 11, 79-84. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.06.008)))
Kassenova, T. (2016, March 25). Don`t Ignore the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism. The National Interest. Retrieved from http://nationalinterest.org/feature/dont-ignore-the-threat-nuclear-terrorism-15598?page=show
Bunn, M. (2008, April 2). The Risk of Nuclear Terrorism - and the Next Steps to Reduce the Danger. Testimony for the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate.
This article talks about how, largely thanks to the Nuclear Security Summit launched by President Obama in 2010, nuclear security has become "a prominent issue on the international stage" (Kassenova, 2016). World leaders have become more aware of the fact that the nuclear terrorism is a real and pressing threat and that actions need to be taken in order to secure stockpiles of nuclear material throughout the world and implement stringent security measures that will ensure that nuclear weapons or materials never fall into the wrong hands. Although this topic has generated much discussion amongst world leaders, however, it does not seem to resonate with regular people living their daily lives. The article discusses how people just don`t seem to think that a nuclear attack is that imminent or that even if it did happen it would affect them. For citizens of non-Western countries this is largely due to the fact that examples of possible targets for nuclear attacks are usually places like Washington, New York City, Paris, London, and other major Western cities, notably excluding areas outside of the Western world. This does not, however, mean that nuclear terrorism is any less of a threat in other parts of the world. For example, if you think about the fact that the majority of terrorist attacks in recent years have actually occurred in the Middle East (e.g., recent bombings in Baghdad) then it might seem more likely that a nuclear attack could be focused on these areas. The point is that the threat of nuclear terrorism is not just a Western concern; it is a problem that encompasses the entire world and we need global cooperation in order to counter it.
This New York Times piece goes on to talk about the ways in which a nuclear attack would absolutely devastate not only the immediate target, but the world at large. Global financial markets would crash and the world would be thrust into economic turmoil. 9/11, for example, "slowed world economic growth from 4.1 percent in 2000 to 1.4 percent in 2001" (Kassenova, 2016). It also led to more security on airplanes and in airports which in turn led to longer lines at airports and fundamentally changed the way people travel. Now image an attack 5x that scale or more. How would this impact the global economy? Global psychology? It would be nothing short of devastating.
I found this article to be highly relevant to this week`s readings because it touched on the topics of nuclear terrorism and the imminent threat that it poses to not just national security but to global security generally. As Matthew Bunn illustrates in his article that we read for this week, "inadequately secured nuclear material is a global problem" (Bunn, 2008, p. 1). Bunn goes on to explain how it might be possible for terrorists to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear materials and how they might carry out an attack. He warns that, unfortunately, the threat is very real and the message is in line with the New York Times piece that emphasizes people`s need to acknowledge the threat; to stop ignoring the possibility of a nuclear attack. Bunn states that "Former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Graham Allison are among those who have estimated that chance [the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack] at more than 50% over the next ten years" (Bunn, 2008, p. 7). What this shows is that we have to be highly vigilant and do everything in our power to increase security standards and create worldwide cooperation in order to ensure that nuclear materials or weapons will never fall into the hands of terrorists.)))
HLS 6010 DISCUSSION 3 2 COMMENTS The Unconventional Threat to Homeland Security Name Northeastern University Pamela Racine- Terrorism, Radicalization and De-radicalization The notion that people joining radical groups are looking for some form of affirmation highlights that the