In this talk Roger Griffin will explore the implications for de-radicalization of a theory of terrorist fanaticism as the psychological product of a process of ‘heroic doubling’ which produces an avatar who sees himself/herself as a warrior engaged in a sacred cause or mission to fight the ‘evil’ using symbolic strikes against ‘the enemy/system’. The way modernity and specific socio-political injustices encourage such a process and how understanding of it can be used to minimize the threat of extremism will be a theme of the talk.
Roger Griffin(BA Hons Oxon, DPhil Oxon, D.h.c. Leuven) is Professor in Modern History at Oxford Brookes University (UK), and has established as an influential authority on right-wing extremism with such publications as The Nature of Fascism (Pinter, 1991), Fascism (OUP, 1995), International Fascism. Theories, Causes and the New Consensus (Arnold, 1998), and Modernism and Fascism. The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (Palgrave, 2007. His current research seeks to refine the model of radicalization he developed in Terrorist’s Creed. Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning (2012) by making it relevant to counter-terrorism and de-radicalization practice. Melting the Snow Queen. Strategies for harnessing terrorist idealism to humanistic ends will explore the possibility of converting terrorist fanaticism to peaceful forms of activism.