Institute for the Study of Asymmetric Conflict

Articles

January 12, 2011
Al-Qaida: A vindication for constructivism?

The impact of al-Qaida on American foreign policy shows that constructivists make a valid point in ascribing significance to ideational factors, alongside traditional realist factors such as military or economic strength. Ideas may not fully equate to traditional power, but they can play a major role in resource allocation and in the determination of the uses to which power is put.

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By Yael Shahar
Tags: Global Jihad, al-Qaida, Constructivism
Rating: Zero stars
January 12, 2011
Aspects of Deradicalization
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By Arie W. Kruglansk
Tags: Radicalization, Deradicalization
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January 6, 2011
Virtual Communities as Pathways to Extremism

The Internet is playing an increasing role in terrorism – not only in obvious areas such as command and control, technical instruction, and the publishing of ideological tracts, but also as a social medium in which groups of people form “virtual communities”. In some cases, these communities can become progressively radicalized to the point where they eventually commit or support acts of violence. An understanding of “virtual communities” is necessary in order to create means of preventing them from functioning as incubators for terrorism.

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By Don Radlauer
Tags: extremism, virtual communities, social networks
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November 17, 2010
The Global Jihad as Cult

It has been noted that terrorist groups likely to employ extreme measures to create mass casualties, such as weapons of mass destruction, are those that fit the profile of the apocalyptic religious cult. The Global Jihad network is a kind of hybrid terrorist entity which combines elements of the apocalyptic cult with the strategy and tactics of the traditional “leaderless resistance.”

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By Yael Shahar
Tags: Global Jihad, al-Qaida
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November 17, 2010
Fully Committed

A motivational analysis of suicidal terrorism is outlined, anchored in the notion of significance quest. It is suggested that heterogeneous factors identified as personal causes of suicidal terrorism (e.g. trauma, humiliation, social exclusion), the various ideological reasons assumed to justify it (e.g. liberation from foreign occupation, defense of one’s nation or religion), and the social pressures brought upon candidates for suicidal terrorism may be profitably subsumed within an integrative framework that explains diverse instances of suicidal terrorism as attempts at significance restoration, significance gain, and prevention of significance loss. Research and policy implications of the present analysis are considered.

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By Arie W. Kruglanski
Tags: suicide bombers
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The Domestic Lone Wolf Knocking At The Door
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By Michael Greenberg
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