View Full Version : We have no strategy: Scott Atran's thoughts

08-21-2017, 10:19 AM
The work of Scott Atran has popped up before; he writes as a Paris-based anthropologist and author of Talking to the Enemy (Pub. 2010). As we know liberal democracy is not under threat in Europe, it is in the USA and few places escape e.g. the Islamist murders in Turku, Finland.

Here are two "taster" passages:
The values of liberal and open democracy increasingly appear to be losing ground around the world to those of narrow, xenophobic ethno-nationalisms and radical Islam. This is not a “clash of civilisations”, but a collapse of communities, for ethno-nationalist violent extremism and transnational jihadi terrorism represent not the resurgence of traditional cultures, but their unravelling. This is the dark side of globalisation. The western nation-state and relatively open markets that dominate the global political and economic order have largely supplanted age-old forms of governance and social life. People across the planet have been transformed into competitive players seeking fulfilment through material accumulation and its symbols. But the forced participation and gamble in the rush of market-driven change often fails, especially among communities that have had little time to adapt. When it does, redemptive violence is prone to erupt.
From his conclusion:
We need a strategy to redirect radicalised youth by engaging with their passions, rather than ignoring or fearing them, or satisfying ourselves by calling on others to moderate or simply denounce them. Of course there are limits to tolerance, and dangers of worse violence in appeasement of the intolerable.Link:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/20/extremism-is-surging-to-beat-it-we-need-young-hearts-and-minds? (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/20/extremism-is-surging-to-beat-it-we-need-young-hearts-and-minds?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=240257&subid=10047113&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2)

09-04-2017, 08:10 PM
An update after Scott Atran's work appeared on CNN, after an article was published in the journal 'Nature Human Behavior'.

Citing Scott himself:
The researchers discovered that three crucial factors motivate both ISIS fighters and those fighting them: a deep commitment to sacred values, the readiness to forsake family for those values, and the perceived spiritual strength of the group or community that the fighter represents.Link:http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/04/health/isis-fighters-human-behavior-study/index.html

The journal article, ten pages, is temporarily freely available:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0193-3.epdf?referrer_access_token=hY0oAGtul7rqHJQPnjVqK tRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NRx9QQyr2ZFOEtoVvpVZ3j2-kFlDhCUBQd0GtCAaEygl2RmKdAcrC1oa9NX4Houkpflj2GHOZ2 tqF2wWHvbDZxD2LKnSALRBKJx-IlRUp9FTnrK9rk95TfODsoeodqIo2AhmpjXGVfPypbaH9d2TiZ EsOYm7TXFVYEdqRmVKqA2AqcDgkCpoMHWIiqflkkNV7IiLPEo6 18PMvI3Sprzv4StG0c8yquHQ2qPMYbq1ejnw%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=edition.cnn.com

An editorial by John Horgan on the article and a "taster" from the CNN report:
This is an elegant theory that makes both intuitive sense but is supported by real-world data......there are common psychological threads woven into the fabric of what motivates us all to fight and die for a causeJohn Horgan's two page editorial:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0198-y.epdf?author_access_token=M8E7m9ATx1uVTD7MCbc7SNR gN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OzSb03XyR3l5iFm7lA7uoR12hEg0Ez4 a5T-l0D43fuSiTMml8BikouVwwuZhGr5tfRvN3dAJnY5s2VPjFTnSv CPYI1cUx00fPQd_XaPanZ2A%3D%3D