Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us

Oxford University Press
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This accessible book identifies twelve mechanisms of political radicalization that can move individuals, groups, and the masses to increased sympathy and support for political violence. Terrorism is an extreme form of radicalization, and the book describes pathways to terrorism to demonstrate the twelve mechanisms at work. Written by two psychologists who are acknowledged radicalization experts and consultants to the Department of Homeland Security, Friction draws heavily on case histories. The case material is wide-ranging - drawn from Russia in the late 1800s, the US in the 1970s, and the radical Islam encouraged by the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Taken together, the twelve mechanisms show how unexceptional people are moved to exceptional violence in the conflict between states and non-state challengers. Captivating, and with psychological overtones, this timely book covers one of the most pressing issues of our time.
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About the author

Clark McCauley is Rachel C. Hale Professor of Sciences and Mathematics and Co-Director of the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. With Dan Chirot he co-authored Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder, published by Princeton University Press in 2006. He is founding editor of the journal Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide. Sophia Moskalenko is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (NC-START) and a consultant with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Her research and publications have focused on group identification, political activism, radicalization, and terrorism.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jan 14, 2011
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9780199781126
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Psychology / Clinical Psychology
Psychology / General
Psychology / Social Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Terrorism is an extreme form of radicalization. In this ground-breaking and important book, Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko identify and outline twelve mechanisms of political radicalization that can move individuals, groups, and the masses to increased sympathy and support for political violence. Co-authored by two psychologists both acknowledged in their field as experts in radicalization and consultants to the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies, Friction draws on wide-ranging case histories to show striking parallels between 1800s anti-czarist terrorism, 1970s anti-war terrorism, and 21st century jihadist terrorism. Altogether, the twelve mechanisms of political radicalization demonstrate how unexceptional people are moved to exceptional violence in the conflict between states and non-state challengers. In this revised and expanded edition, McCauley and Moskalenko use the twelve mechanisms to analyze recent cases of lone-wolf terrorists and illustrate how individuals can become radicalized to jihadist violence with group influence or organizational support. Additionally, in the context of the Islamic State's worldwide efforts to radicalize moderate Muslims for jihad, they advance a model that differentiates radicalization in opinion from radicalization in action, and suggest different strategies for countering these diverse forms of radicalization. As a result, the authors conclude that the same mechanisms are at work in radicalizing both terrorists and states targeted by terrorists, implying that these conclusions are as relevant for policy-makers and security officers as they are for citizens facing the threat of terror today.
Genocide, mass murder, massacres. The words themselves are chilling, evoking images of the slaughter of countless innocents. What dark impulses lurk in our minds that even today can justify the eradication of thousands and even millions of unarmed human beings caught in the crossfire of political, cultural, or ethnic hostilities? This question lies at the heart of Why Not Kill Them All? Cowritten by historical sociologist Daniel Chirot and psychologist Clark McCauley, the book goes beyond exploring the motives that have provided the psychological underpinnings for genocidal killings. It offers a historical and comparative context that adds up to a causal taxonomy of genocidal events.

Rather than suggesting that such horrors are the product of abnormal or criminal minds, the authors emphasize the normality of these horrors: killing by category has occurred on every continent and in every century. But genocide is much less common than the imbalance of power that makes it possible. Throughout history human societies have developed techniques aimed at limiting intergroup violence. Incorporating ethnographic, historical, and current political evidence, this book examines the mechanisms of constraint that human societies have employed to temper partisan passions and reduce carnage.


Might an understanding of these mechanisms lead the world of the twenty-first century away from mass murder? Why Not Kill Them All? makes clear that there are no simple solutions, but that progress is most likely to be made through a combination of international pressures, new institutions and laws, and education. If genocide is to become a grisly relic of the past, we must fully comprehend the complex history of violent conflict and the struggle between hatred and tolerance that is waged in the human heart.


In a new preface, the authors discuss recent mass violence and reaffirm the importance of education and understanding in the prevention of future genocides.

Genocide, mass murder, massacres. The words themselves are chilling, evoking images of the slaughter of countless innocents. What dark impulses lurk in our minds that even today can justify the eradication of thousands and even millions of unarmed human beings caught in the crossfire of political, cultural, or ethnic hostilities? This question lies at the heart of Why Not Kill Them All? Cowritten by historical sociologist Daniel Chirot and psychologist Clark McCauley, the book goes beyond exploring the motives that have provided the psychological underpinnings for genocidal killings. It offers a historical and comparative context that adds up to a causal taxonomy of genocidal events.

Rather than suggesting that such horrors are the product of abnormal or criminal minds, the authors emphasize the normality of these horrors: killing by category has occurred on every continent and in every century. But genocide is much less common than the imbalance of power that makes it possible. Throughout history human societies have developed techniques aimed at limiting intergroup violence. Incorporating ethnographic, historical, and current political evidence, this book examines the mechanisms of constraint that human societies have employed to temper partisan passions and reduce carnage.

Might an understanding of these mechanisms lead the world of the twenty-first century away from mass murder? Why Not Kill Them All? makes clear that there are no simple solutions, but that progress is most likely to be made through a combination of international pressures, new institutions and laws, and education. If genocide is to become a grisly relic of the past, we must fully comprehend the complex history of violent conflict and the struggle between hatred and tolerance that is waged in the human heart.

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