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Seminarium: Lorne L. Dawson

Tid Onsdag 15 november, 2023 kl. 13:00 - 15:00
Plats Zoom

Välkomna till seminariet med Lorne L. Dawson, University of Waterloo. Seminariet ges på engelska.

Religion, Radicalization and Violence: Conceptual and Interpretive Issues

Webbinarium - Lorne L. Dawson
Meeting ID: 620 6643 0262

Since 9/11 the threats posed by “jihadists,” self-declared religious terrorists, have dominated the attention of the public, governments, and academia. Yet after all these years, a deep suspicion persists about the role of religiosity in motivating the process of radicalization leading to religious terrorism. In part this is because the specter of jihadist religious terrorism in the West has eluded full understanding, despite copious research. Our grasp of the factors contributing to the radicalization of individuals and groups in general is growing steadily, along with our appreciation of the complexity of the process. Empirically, however, we are only beginning to piece together the elements of the perfect storm of considerations that explain why a few individuals, in circumstances shared with others, become violent, while so many do not. It is the dynamic and diverse interactions of individuals with aspects of their environments that lead to involvement in terrorism, and in most cases a further process of secondary radicalization is required to become violent. Explaining this process in the case of religious terrorism is particularly challenging, and in ways that are not always well understood. The challenge stems in part from the ambiguity of religious action as a subject of social scientific analysis, and the resultant ambivalence of most social scientists in dealing with the pervasive primary data of religious motivational claims. The deep and largely unacknowledged suspicion of religious motivations has prompted a reliance on a series of cross-cutting conceptual dichotomies to make sense of the radicalization of religious terrorists, dichotomies which have had a distorting effect on the discourse by minimizing the etiological significance of religiosity in unwarranted ways. Researchers have striven to structure the analysis of religious terrorism in terms of a series of distinctions, between the rational and irrational, public and private, political and religious, social processes and ideology. These conceptual alternatives, however, are misleading, because they fail to adequately capture the complex reality of the situation. This presentation (based on a forthcoming book chapter) focuses on three interpretive mistakes commonly made by social scientists studying the radicalization of Western jihadist terrorists that are indicative of this explanatory problem.

Evenemangstyp: Seminarium
Hernan Mondani
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Jeffrey Mitchell
Läs om Jeffrey Mitchell