Jun 25, 2018

Podcasts on Radicalization and Cults 


June 25, 2018

Oliver Smith, a psychology student at the University of Cambridge in the UK, has completed three interesting interviews in which he asked experts on radicalization and extremism to discuss the relationship of their specialties to cultic studies. These podcasts are available on the ICSA YouTube Channel. Interviewees were: 

Dr Florence Gaub is Deputy Director at the European Union Institute for Security Studies where she heads the Middle East and North Africa programme. In her work, she focuses on conflict, strategy and security, with particular emphasis on Iraq, Lebanon and Libya; she also works on Arab military forces more generally, conflict structures and geostrategic dimensions of the Arab region. Dr Gaub wrote a paper called, ‘The Cult of ISIS’ which was published in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy in early 2016. Oliver Smith asked Dr Gaub about the links that can be made between cults and terrorist groups, and the strategic implications of these links. 

Some useful links: 

Dr Gaub, twitter page

Dr Gaub staff profile, EUISS

'The Cult of ISIS' paper

Transcript of interview

Professor Roger Griffin is one of the world’s foremost experts on the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, as well as the relationship of various forms of fanaticism, and in particular contemporary terrorism, to Modernity. He has made a number of contributions to a humanistic understanding of terrorist radicalisation and the identification of the processes involved in de-radicalisation. Professor Griffin wrote a book called Terrorist’s Creed, published in 2012, which outlines a lot of his thinking on this subject; Oliver Smith asked him about the relevance of cults to terrorist groups, when considered as devices for achieving meaning, in particular. 

Some useful links: 

Edited transcript of this interview--edited by Prof Griffin. 

Prof Griffin staff profile, Oxford Brookes. 

'Terrorist's Creed: Fanatical violence and the human need for meaning', book. 

'The role of heroic doubling in ideologically motivated state and terrorist violence', paper. 

Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan is a social psychologist based in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, and co-directs the ICthinking® research group. She is also Co-Founder, Co-Director of IC Thinking (Cambridge) Ltd (company no. 09128885). Since 2007, Dr Boyd-MacMillan and colleagues at the University of Cambridge have pioneered an approach to address inter-group conflicts and extremisms, which uses an empirical measure frame with predictive results. I asked Dr Boyd-MacMillan about what ICthinking® might have to say about the links between cults and extreme groups just generally, as well as finding out more about the ICthinking® project itself. 

Some useful links: 

Dr Boyd-MacMillan staff profile, Cambridge. 

ICthinking® homepage

I SEE ! Scotland In-depth: IC GRAEME HIGH (9 minutes). 

Transcript of interview

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