the terrorist mind a psychological and political analysis laurence miller pdf

The Terrorist Mind A Psychological And Political Analysis Laurence Miller Pdf

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Political psychology

The current progression of far-right movements and the appearance of the Islamic State and the Caliphate can be depicted as morbid symptoms indicative of a crisis. The Italian author traces the origins of this notion by distinguishing between two major mechanisms of social power: coercion and consent. In opposition to methods of coercion, hegemony relies on consent by attempting to persuade people to adopt a specific set of social values and norms of a given system.

Unlike Marx, Gramsci foresaw a relative degree of autonomy of the cultural sphere insofar as the elite would not establish the defining cultural and social norms of society. Rather, the continuous process of social actions and interactions would be the conditions producing hegemony. This gives rise to a dialectical relationship in which hegemony and counter-hegemony mutually reinforce each other.

Evocative of the International Relations curriculum, authors such as Robert Cox, Carl Boggs and Owen Worth understood the rich implications of extending the concept to understand the production of power at a global level.

The current international order seems to be dominated by American hegemony as it primarily originates from the US economic, political and cultural might influencing the world. Evidence of this argument can be found in the creation and control of this domination through the Bretton-Woods system, the indexation of the dollar, Hollywood culture and economic Neo-liberalism shared by the majority of the countries in the world.

At the end of this spectrum lies the terrorist actors, engaged for decades in a war against the West. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State epitomized this virulent response against Western cultural invasion and destruction of the region.

They have become the tantamount of this cultural and ideological incompatibility. Jenkins: In this light, terrorist activities could be read as a counter-hegemonic strategy caused by an emotional wound left after the American invasion of their culture.

From this proposal, multiple questions arise. How do these individuals run and resist this ideological domination? What mechanisms are at work to revoke hegemonic norms on a global level? From these feelings, the analysis will focus on the appearance, discourses and attacks of terrorist organizations to illustrate their counter-hegemonic dimension. Counter-hegemony is essentially a process through which Country A challenges the normative and political opinions spread by Country B, when these opinions are acknowledged and supported by the majority of countries.

One such idea is the idea that Western economic norms and cultural visions are the only options available. Thus, laying the foundation for a contestation of the traditional, current, international order Cox and Schilthuis: Devetak: Indeed, the underpinning principle of the organization consists on waging a crusade against the United States, who they perceive as invading and destroying the birthplace of Islam.

Because of this, the declaration of Jihad , a defensive war, is justified. Because of American pillaging of the Holy Land, the organization established the necessity to unite the Islamic world through Ummah unity to defend itself.

In return, hegemonic status demands the ability for hegemony to maintain its capacities—as Susan Strange coined it—to achieve a separation between relational and structural power.

In other words, the Hegemon exercises its relational power to subordinate another country to do what suits its interests. This structural power then organizes subordinate systems that perpetuate relational power. Using the urgent need to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, the US was able to organize a coalition of thirty-six countries and to be strongly supported by the United Kingdom because of its relational power acquired throughout the years.

The scars left behind remain visible and are a source of a grudge for many in the region, fueling dissatisfaction and resistance against the United States. Along this line, emotions become the central pivot motivating social and political transformation towards counter-hegemonic responses.

Indeed, the organization arose as a violent reaction to the invasion of Iraq by the United States. First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.

This process is allowed through the cementing of terrorist ideology, creating a mental universe structured by a radically different understanding and analysis of the same historical moment. While Gramsci asserts that hegemony also had its material component by giving the example of Fordist production, so does counter-hegemony.

This rise can be interpreted as the response to the continuous process of social actions of everyday life of those who contest Western hegemony. It was the natural reaction of a people who lacked a protected Islamic community in the face of Western persecutors. Its primary goal is to offer a protected land for Muslims.

Multiple reasons pertaining to non-Muslims, atheism and liberal systems are given. Paralleling Al Qaeda, the Caliphate also subscribes to a form of political strategy against Western domination. The Islamic State then appears to be the contrary of a status quo power; rather, it looks like a revisionist power seeking to create a revisionist wave within the perceived US-led international order. The appearance of the Islamic State offers an interesting historical parallel as it appears almost five centuries after the first one.

This encouraged a wave of Occidentalism, shutting down any attempt to preserve the oriental culture from Western invasion. Therefore, as A. With the establishment of the Caliphate, ISIS sought to carve out its own political space to force the West to re-conceptualize its certainty. Considering a Gramscian perspective on terrorism and understanding it as a counter-hegemonic response against cultural domination inflicted by the West, the emotional dimension of this phenomenon becomes even more salient.

Yet, as the Italian author explained, this cultural wound alone does not suffice to inspire resistance.

Rather, a combination of multiple ingredients becomes necessary for the revolt to take place. In the process of establishing counter-hegemonic practices, Gramsci emphasizes the decisive role of ideological agents such as intellectuals, political parties, and subaltern classes in socially organizing change and sedition.

Opponents of the imposed normative culture have to produce their own intellectual figures to replace it. Raising critical awareness rapidly becomes a politicization of emotions to further instrumentalize revolutions and ultimately instill terror. Indeed, achieving this oppositional reflexivity follows different foundations. As Laurence Miller explains, the first stage consists of making people conscious of the fact that their lived experience stems from a false reality.

The second phase is about showing them how unfair their situation is, and the third is about finding the culprit and demonizing it. Ultimately, these stages must lead to the operational move towards the perceived responsible person Miller: This psychological conditioning may resemble the traditional radicalization process as described by Moghaddam in his staircase to terrorism theory.

These features are also required because the task of conscious awakening is a thorny one. Indeed, the subaltern group must realize that their so-called common sense does not correspond to their daily experience and, especially, does not fit with their feelings of discomfort.

These feelings are then used by leaders to recreate a more understandable reality. This redefinition works through combining past and present, and unifying individual and collective experiences into a single history to emphasize timeless suffering. Our Islamic nation has been tasting the same for more eighty years of humiliation and disgrace, its sons killed, and their blood spilled, its sanctities desecrated.

Osama Bin Laden: These intellectuals provide the basis for any counter-hegemonic maneuver but must be organized in a meaningful direction. Passion also accounts for a critical component in the making of this social transformation.

It must be articulated with knowledge and implies that leaders maintain a high level of closeness towards their subalterns so as to understand their feelings, justify them, and connect them to a particular historical context. This privileged relation is intended to create a self-reflectivity towards their emotions, understanding of their experiences in the world.

This involves a relentless engagement to operationalize the resistance. The mentorship system within terrorist organizations participates in the fabric of this awareness; eased by the notion of organic intellectuals. Indeed, an efficient mentorship system has been put in place to prepare the promising ones for leadership tasks.

Indeed, many terrorist organizations rapidly understood the role of education in colonizing the young minds and hearts with diverging ideas, which led to a series of attacks on schools. The Islamic State has designed a set of educational services and a health infrastructure for its population. The organization also appeals to communications, emphasizing the utopian dimension of the state.

As Charlie Winter explains:. The strategy thus intends to show the welcoming and enjoyable environment of the state playing on emotional appeals. In other words, ISIS recognizes that offers of friendship, security and a sense of belonging are powerful draws for its supporters abroad Winter: Consequently, the emotional dimensions of belonging to this specific community is worth noticing. As the lived experience is reinterpreted and moved from a single person to several, the creation of a meaningful community occurs.

Experiences, but also ideology and actions, towards the world are now shared. Silke emphasizes this dimension by documenting:. Former terrorists when asked what they miss about their lives as active members of such groups often talk about the closeness, they felt with group members, the sense of shared risk and common purpose.

In other words, the unifying component of the mission creates a togetherness reinforcing the reasons to believe in this counter-narrative and urge to resist. The relationship between the terrorist community and the jihad act naturally reveals itself. Indeed, emphasizing the need for a global Islamic community through Ummah , Al Qaeda relies on a community of feelings; mostly humiliation, hatred, and resentment for the Western enemy.

Maintaining this polarization is critical; its vector exploits the unseen corners of education. Having underlined the critical components and the repertoire of contention that the counter-hegemonic activity implies, it is necessary to dive into the question of how this Gramscian critical pedagogy seeds the soil for jihadist involvement and recruitment around the world.

Through this relationship, teachers must show their subalterns how their suffering is part of a cultural and historical understanding of the world by the so-called enemy. This process leads their students to develop critical thinking and reflexivity on their own suffering and victimization. More than a critical reflexivity, counter-hegemonic practices also involve the establishment of a critical pedagogy.

The core of this critical pedagogy thus consists of maintaining and enforcing a constant level of critical consciousness to build counter-hegemonic practices and positions of resistance against the injunction of Western hegemony. The ongoing use of this counter-narrative, as suggested by Gramsci, to eradicate the hegemonic culture is quintessential.

Education becomes a land of possibility to inoculate disruptive practices. The Islamic State provides a compelling illustration of this reflexive task. After revoking the traditional educational system in their besieged region, the organization put a biased curriculum in place. Math, History, and English classes are taught in a way that reinforces the teachings of the Caliphate. For example, Math problems often ask to calculate such things as the number of casualties in a car bombing.

Civil rights are also taught to emphasize the righteous actions of the Caliphate and the necessity of people to engage themselves in this enterprise to resist the cultural Diktat and oppression. The development of a victimhood logic also becomes a common theme, allowing ISIS to present itself as a holy, protective entity against the Invader. Lastly, the extremist religious appeal invokes that every good Muslim should die for the Caliphate and its ideology as the only way to become pure and to escape from Western perversion.

It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Osama Bin Laden, August

Eighteenth-Century Minds: From Associationism to Cognitive Psychology

Using primary sources students choose topics with a manageable focus that can be carried out in a variety of settings, such as schools, nongovernmental organizations or field research stations. During the independent study period students work closely with a project advisor and other key contacts in the field. The ISP is typically a to page paper presented to student colleagues, the academic director and, often, the advisor and other interested host-country individuals. Krantz, Northwestern University. Political Object or Individual Subject? Los Microcosmos de la Interculturalidad?

Part I of this two-part article presents a psychological and political analysis of the terrorist mind. Part II describes the major Laurence Miller. Laurence Miller.

Political psychology

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Part I of this two-part article presents a psychological and political analysis of the terrorist mind. Part II describes the major current psychological classifications and typologies of domestic and foreign terrorism.

Information for Readers and Authors

Terrorism and the End of Western Hegemony: A Gramscian Perspective

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. Therefore, we combine psychology and policy studies to produce a three-step strategy. First, do not bombard people with evidence.

Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field, a branch of social psychology [1] dedicated to understanding politics , politicians and political behavior from a psychological perspective. As an interdisciplinary field, political psychology borrows from a wide range of other disciplines, including: anthropology , sociology , international relations , economics , philosophy , media , journalism and history. Political psychology aims to understand interdependent relationships between individuals and contexts that are influenced by beliefs, motivation, perception, cognition, information processing, learning strategies, socialization and attitude formation. Political psychological theory and approaches have been applied in many contexts such as: leadership role; domestic and foreign policy making; behavior in ethnic violence, war and genocide; group dynamics and conflict; racist behavior; voting attitudes and motivation; voting and the role of the media; nationalism; and political extremism. Political psychology originated from Western Europe, France, where it was closely tied to the emergence of new disciplines and paradigms as well as to the precise social and political context in various countries. The philosopher Hippolyte Taine — , a founder of the Ecole Libre de Sciences Politiques, applied Bastian's theories in his works The Origins of Contemporary France — , to ideas on the founding and development of the Third Republic.

Our Board of Academic Expert Advisors. John Horgan. Georgia State University. Tore Bjorgo. Norwegian Police College. Mark Dechesne. Leiden University.

The Terrorist Mind I. A Psychological and Political Analysis Authors: Laurence Miller Request Full-text Paper PDF (67) Miller (77) also proposes that terrorist motivation can be organized into a three-stage process whereby unacceptable.

We outline the predictors of the onset of psychological distress across three phases of terrorist involvement engagement, disengagement, and post-disengagement. Utilizing a dataset of over 90 terrorist autobiographies, we conduct sequence analyses to pinpoint the onset of psychological problems and the experiences that preceded and proceeded this onset. The experience of psychological distress is mediated by numerous factors and the combination of these factors.

Current Perspectives on International Terrorism

Many studies have been conducted to demonstrate the collective rationality of traditional terrorist groups; this study seeks to expand this and apply collective rationality to Islamic terrorist groups. As Brian M.


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It is based on a systematic review of original data-based quantitative research published in peer-reviewed journals between and , including a few seminal articles published since


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The current progression of far-right movements and the appearance of the Islamic State and the Caliphate can be depicted as morbid symptoms indicative of a crisis.



Miller, L. (, March). Howsafe is your job? The threat ofworkplace violence. USA Today Magazine, pp.


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