Download Social Sciences for Counterterrorism - Putting the Pieces by Paul K. Davis, Kim Cragin, Darcy Noricks, Todd C. Helmus, PDF

By Paul K. Davis, Kim Cragin, Darcy Noricks, Todd C. Helmus, Christopher Paul

This monograph surveys and integrates scholarly social-science literature appropriate to counterterrorism. It attracts from various disciplines after which makes use of high-level conceptual versions to tug the items jointly relating to root explanations, person radicalization, public help, and the ways that terrorism fades. It identifies issues of contract and confrontation and discusses the results of other contexts and views.

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Social Sciences for Counterterrorism - Putting the Pieces Together

This monograph surveys and integrates scholarly social-science literature proper to counterterrorism. It attracts from a variety of disciplines after which makes use of high-level conceptual versions to drag the items jointly concerning root explanations, person radicalization, public help, and the ways that terrorism fades.

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It is not just wishful thinking to imagine this. Limitations of the Rational-Choice Model There are limits to the rational-choice model. These involve bounded rationality (for example, the inability to gather the information needed for idealized rational-analytic calculations, and misperceptions), the many cognitive biases that afflict human decisionmaking (for example, the consequence of selecting data that reinforce preferences, of demonizing adversaries), the character of individual leaders (such as their risktaking propensity), emotions (for example, the fervor that commanders seek to build before battles or the fears that can paralyze), physiological xxxiv Social Science for Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together circumstances (such as exhaustion and, variously, paranoia or paralysis), and leaders’ idiosyncrasies (for example, those of Shoko Ashahara of Aum Shinrikyo).

Summary xlvii Points of Controversy We end by discussing briefly three nettlesome issues. Which Dominates, Supply of or Demand for Terrorists? Our research revealed an interesting apparent conflict. On the one hand, economists (and some others) have noted that terrorist organizations typically operate in contexts that include very large numbers of potential recruits, when only much smaller numbers are needed. Al-Qaeda, for example, may need hundreds or thousands, but not hundreds of thousands. Since it is normal, not unusual, for a society to include many individuals that are angry, disaffected, or otherwise potential recruits, and since even volunteers for suicide attacks appear to be plentiful, it might seem that efforts to reduce supply are doomed to fail.

The effects of religion may be “original” or subsequent, as when not-particularly religious young males join a terrorist organization and then—as part of bonding and indoctrination—adopt the religious trappings of the overall story. • Because the role of religion differs so much, both policy and onthe-ground activities, such as counterradicalization and deradicalization activities, should be locally tailored rather than dictated by generalizations. l Social Science for Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together Conclusions Some overarching principles proved valuable in establishing our approach and making sense of results: • Many factors contribute to terrorism phenomena and it is counterproductive to argue about “the” key factor: An interdisciplinary system approach should instead inform thinking from the outset.

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