Terrorism & Humiliation:
Why People Choose Terrorism
This is a large research project with 18 research teams of young scholars and their academic advisors, that was planed to be conducted in cooperation with the United Nations University. However, due to lack of funding, much of this research could not yet be realized. So far, Vegar Jordanger and Corinna Carmen Gayer are working on their research, albeit in revised ways.
For all the other projects that you see listed further down, we are currently looking for funding, and an umbrella organization for cooperation! We are grateful for your support and advice! We kindly encourage foundations and donors to consider funding this research, either as a whole, or in parts.
Why do people choose terrorism? This question merits deeper probing. This research project aims at shedding more light on the choices made by people who choose or support terrorism. The aim of this research is to help prevent terrorism more efficiently.
The original plan for the end product was to produce an edited book, Terrorism and Humiliation, which was envisaged to be finished within a biannual time frame, with the following contents:
a) conceptual chapters
b) cases provided by our research teams (already with relevance to policy)
c) a policy brief that summarises the insights.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 states that 'all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.'
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides a historically unprecedented new frame to society, both locally and globally. Equal dignity and equal rights for all is a historically relatively new concept. Consequently, we need novel analysis.
Humiliation is contrary to the very foundation of human rights. Humiliation has the potential to contribute to terrorism - which in turn leads to further denial of human rights - not only for 'terrorists' but also for innocent people. This increases feelings of humiliation even more and a vicious cycle may be set in motion.
Previously, prior to globalisation and prior to the emergence of human rights, poverty, exclusion, suffering, discrimination, exploitation and abuse were usually accepted when they occurred in the lower echelons of societies, the world around. The downtrodden were expected to 'know their place,' and either nature of divine ordination were invoked to justify their plight as legitimate. (Still today, we observe relicts of this conceptualisation, for example in the cloak of 'just world thinking.')
This situation, however, becomes untenable and changes profoundly as soon as people perceive that they are part of the same family and that equal dignity for all is the reigning ideal. Refugees, displaced people, poor people, excluded people, altogether people who feel that they are not being treated in ways that extend to them equal rights and equal dignity, might no longer accept their plight. They might invoke feelings of humiliation, which they then, in turn, may interpret as justification for violence. The genocide in Rwanda was carried out by recently risen underlings (Hutu) on their former masters (Tutsis). Likewise, the downtrodden of the world, if lead by determined 'Hitlers,' could unleash unprecedented mayhem. People, who formerly could 'safely' be left in squalor, may now turn into terrorists, supported by those who identify with their plight. What is needed is a Mandela-like mindset, where newly emerging feelings of humiliation are translated not into mayhem, terrorism and genocide, but into constructive social change.
The notion of humiliation has so far not been researched much. Trauma, stress, or the notion of shame, all these notions have received more attention. In this study we attempt to highlight the phenomenon of humiliation in a transdisciplinary, transcontinental and gender-balanced way.
Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, states, "If I've learned one thing covering world affairs, it's this: The single most underappreciated force in international relations is humiliation" (Friedman, 2003).
Aaron Lazare (2004) writes: 'I believe that humiliation is one of the most important emotions we must understand and manage, both in ourselves and in others, and on an individual and national level. This belief, particularly as it relates to international affairs, is supported by the writings of Robert Jay Lifton, Jessica Stern, Thomas Friedman, and even the 5th-century B.C. historian Thucydides (Kagan, 1995)' (Lazare, 2004, page 262-263).
Vamik Volkan's theory of collective violence, which he puts forth in his recent book Blind Trust: Large groups and their leaders in times of crisis and terror ( Volkan, 2004, see also Volkan, 1997, Volkan, 1988) explains that a chosen trauma that is experienced as humiliation is not mourned , leading to the feeling of entitlement to revenge and, under the pressure of fear/anxiety, to collective regression.
The research project presented here asks question such as: Why do people choose terrorism? What motivates them? What moves them? Why do people support others who perpetrate terrorist acts? What do they seek? These questions merit deeper probing. This research project aims at shedding more light on to the choices made by people who choose or support terrorism. The aim of this research is to help prevent terrorism more efficiently.
References for this Introduction:
Friedman, Thomas L. (2003). The humiliation factor. In New York Times, November 9, 2003
Kagan, Donald (1995). On the origins of war and the preservation of peace. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Lazare, Aaron (2004). On apology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Volkan, Vamik D. (1988). The need to have enemies and allies: From clinical practice to international relations. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
Volkan, Vamik D. (1997). Bloodlines: From ethnic pride to ethnic terrorism. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Volkan, Vamik D. (2004). Blind trust: Large groups and their leaders in times of crisis and terror. Charlottesville, VA: Pitchstone Publishing.
Evelin Gerda Lindner, M.D., Ph.D. (Dr. med.), Ph.D. (Dr. psychol.)
Founding Manager of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS)
Paul A. Stokes, Ph.D., College Lecturer
Department of Sociology at the National University of Ireland, Dublin
Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Associate Director
Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley College, Boston, USA
Moira R. Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Language and Literature, EMU, Virginia, USA
Maggie O'Neill, Lecturer
Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University, UK
Alicia Cabezudo, Professor and Peace / Human Rights Educator
Educating Cities Latin America
Barbara Harrell-Bond, Professor
Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, Egypt
Trevor L. Ballance, Lecturer and Researcher
Josai International University, Japan
Jack A. Goldstone, Professor
George Mason University School of Public Policy, kindly offers to help us present our research, when it is finished, in the Washington area
See pictures of meetings
Terrorism and Migration
A Two-Day Interdisciplinary Conference at the School of Humanities, University of Southampton, UK.
Saturday November 17th-Sunday November 18th, 2007.
Contemporary anxieties about terrorism in the mainstream media and politics have clearly articulated the war against terrorism and the struggle for global security to the control of immigration, as well as the criminalisation of Islam. As A. Sivanandan has argued in a recent article, ‘the war on asylum and the war on terror […] have converged to produce a racism which cannot tell a settler from an immigrant, an immigrant from an asylum speaker, an asylum speaker from a Muslim, a Muslim from a terrorist’. In response to the conflation of discourses of counter-terrorism, global security and the control of migration, this conference invites papers from any area of the humanities and the social sciences that are related to the following topics:
Human Security Report 2005
Comprehensive Three-Year Study Shows Surprising Evidence of Major Declines in Armed Conflicts, Genocides, Human Rights Abuse, Military Coups and International Crises, Worldwide
The Number of Armed Conflicts Has Dropped 40% since 1992. This Unheralded Decline Is Linked to a Dramatic Increase in UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Efforts.
New York, October 17, 2005
"UN Study Introduces New Kind of Refugees"
By Saifuddin Ismailji
and posted at http://www.humiliationstudies.org/news/archives/000780.html
Lindner, Evelin Gerda (2005)
Mature Differentiation As Response to Terrorism and Humiliation: Refrain From the Language of 'War' and 'Evil'
In Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2005 http://www.transnational.org/forum/meet/2005/Lindner_Humiliation.html.
No international definition of terrorism:
UN summit agrees reform document
World leaders have signed a deal on reforming the UN, though critics say it is much weaker than first envisaged.
The 35-page final document establishes a new Peacebuilding Commission to help countries make the transition from war to peace, and agrees there is an international responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
It sets up a new Human Rights Council, and condemns terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes" - though the summit failed to settle on a definition of terrorism.
Correspondents say disagreements have meant some of the anticipated advances have been dropped or watered down. See entire article here.
Internet Resources Provided by the Project on Defense Alternatives
The Project on Defense Alternatives has just added one thousand full-text links to its public access Internet Library pages. These links lead to online documents, reports, and articles published in 2005 by more than 200 official and NGO sources. Our libraries include:
Terrorism, counter-terrorism, homeland security
Defense Strategy Review
Chinese Military Power
Revolution in Military Affairs
War Report (Iraq & Afghanistan)
The sites also contain more than 4,000 document links from pervious updates. I hope you find them useful for research, reference, and teaching. If so, please share the URLs with others. Also see:
PDA publications index
PDA Military, War, & Peace Bookmarks
World Bank loan to India to lift people out of poverty
The World Bank plans to lend India $9bn (£5bn) over the next three years to help fund development projects such as road building and water improvement.
World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is visiting India and said that the money would help sustain the growth needed to lift 250 million people out of poverty.
Although India is one of the world's fastest growing economies, millions of people live on less than $1 a day. The World Bank money will be aimed at rural areas that are the hardest hit. Please read the full text here.
"A Global Strategy for Fighting Terrorism"
Secretary-General's keynote address to the Closing Plenary of the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security - "A Global Strategy for Fighting Terrorism," Madrid, Spain, 10 March 2005.
On 28 September 2001, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (concerning threats to international peace and security), the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373 (2001), reaffirming its unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks which took place in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on 11 September 2001, and expressing its determination to prevent all such acts. Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). The CTED is headed by its Executive Director, Mr Javier Rupérez at the Assistant Secretary-General level. Mailing Address: Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), 405 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10174, United States, (212) 457-1853, E-mail: CTED@un.org.
From Reaction to Prevention: Civil Society Forging Partnerships to Prevent Violent Conflict and Build Peace (New York, UN Headquarters, 19-21 July 2005). Conference on UN reform that would require the organisation to act quickly to prevent genocide.
Horst Fischer & Noelle Quénivet (eds) (2005)
Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Nation- and/or State-Building
Bochumer Schriften zur Friedenssicherung und zum humanitären Völkerrecht, Band 52, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin, 2005, 194 pp., ISBN 3-8305-1003-9
The Psychology of Terrorism
[Four Volumes, 2002]
Series: Psychological Dimensions to War and Peace
Chris Stout, Foreword by Klaus Schwab
The Common Ground News Service, August 9, 2005
Articles in this edition:
1. "The Inequality of Empathy" by Samir Shehata
Samir Shehata, an Egyptian-American professor at Georgetown University, asks why Americans find it easier to identify with the suffering of Londoners than with the suffering of Egyptians, Saudis or Iraqis, in the hopes of improving collective security based on a common humanity.
(Source: Al Ahram, August 4-10, 2005)
2. "Beyond the condemnation of terrorism" by Louay M. Safi
Louay M. Safi, author of Peace And The Limits Of War: Transcending Classical Conception of Jihad, Tensions and Transitions in the Muslim World and the Challenge of Modernity, admires the "strong stand taken by American Muslim leaders against indiscriminate violence as a testimony of a remarkable maturity and the clarity of vision in dealing with a complex issue" and points out where both Muslim leaders and Western policies do not go far enough.
(Source: Middle East Times, August 2, 2005)
3. "Muslims in Europe: Cultural Integration Is a Two-Way Street" by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Senior Researcher at the Foreign Policy Centre and writer of a weekly column in the Independent, talks about how fear and racism are preventing positive integration of minorities, particularly Muslims, in Europe. She warns readers that "[w]ithout socializing, real and virtual ghettoes soon form blotting out the common humanity we all share."
(Source: The Independent, August 2, 2005)
4. ~ Youth Views ~
"The U.S. Should Step up Cultural Exchange Programs" by Rebecca P. Tollefson
Rebecca P. Tollefson will be attending the American University's School of International Service this fall. She explains why exchange between the United States and the Arab world must increase, arguing that "[the West] must do far more than welcome immigrants and sponsor study programs for others to come to us. We must also push ourselves to try and understand cultures that are markedly different from our own." This is particularly important as our world becomes much smaller and its people much closer.
(Source: CGNews-PiH, August 9, 2005)
Noëlle N.R. Quénivet (2005)
Sexual Offenses in Armed Conflict and International Law
The Common Ground News Service, July 12, 2005
Articles in this edition:
1. "Why the bombings in London are not the work of 'Islamic' terrorists" - Daily Star Editorial
This editorial from the Daily Star, examines London's metropolitan police commissioner comment on the recent bombs: "the culprits certainly were not Islamic terrorists, because Islam and terrorism simply don't go together."
(Source: The Daily Star, July 8, 2005)
2. "Iraq, post-Nazi Germany, and preventative diplomacy" by Hady Amr
Hady Amr, former National Director for Ethnic Outreach for Al Gore's Presidential Campaign and author of "The Need to Communicate: How to Improve U.S. Public Diplomacy with the Islamic World", raises concrete suggestions that the United States can take to improve the situation in Iraq based on reflections of American involvement in Germany following WWII.
(Source: Search for Common Ground, July 3, 2005)
3. "Why the US and Iran love to hate each other" by Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson, staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, considers whether the hatred between the United States and Iran actually stems from their similarities.
(Source: The Christian Science Monitor, June 29, 2005
Monty G. Marshall & Ted Robert Gurr (2005)
Peace and Conflict 2005: A Global Survey of Armed Conflicts, Self-Determination Movements, and Democracy
College Park, MD: Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland.
Chrystelle Barbier, LIMA correspondance (2005)
Au Pérou, les victimes du Sentier lumineux attendent toujours l'aide de l'Etat
LE MONDE, 20.06.05
Démunis de tout, les Péruviens ayant fui le terrorisme attendent depuis longtemps des réparations. Dans les années 1980, au moins 600 000 Péruviens ont tout abandonné pour fuir la terreur que faisaient régner les guérilleros du Sentier lumineux dans leur campagne...
Mercedes St. Elin kindly wrote to Chrystelle Barbier and she kindly provides us with the following contact address:
ASFADEL , Jr. Gálvez Chipoco 340, Interior 9 – Lima Cercado - Peru
Oficina del Comité Andino de Servicios , Calle Enrique Meiggs 131, Of. 14 –
- ASFADEL: 00 51 1965-27952 personne à joindre Rufina Rivera 00 51 1 98857219
The TERRA project, at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, has done extensive work on Islamist terrorism, including motivations behind such terrorism, see for instance http://www.mil.no/multimedia/archive/00063/Lia-R-2004-04307_63169a.pdf and http://www.mil.no/multimedia/archive/00043/Jihad_in_Europe_43302a.pdf .
New Directions in Peace and Conflict Research:
Non-violent Strategies for Confronting Global Terrorism and for Promoting Peaceful Social Change
A CPS research conference, University of Tromsø, Norway, 7th-9th September 2005
Madrassa Foreigners 'Must Leave'
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says all foreign students at madrassas, or religious schools, some 1,400 pupils, must leave the country.
"Any (foreigners) in the madrassas - even dual nationality holders - will leave Pakistan," Gen Musharraf said. This is the latest in a series of measures the president has announced in a renewed clampdown on extremism. Madrassas have been in the spotlight after one of the London bombers was reported to have studied at one. Read the entire article here.
New UN High Commissioner for Refugees is António Guterres
Mr. António Guterres joined the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on June 15, 2005, succeeding Mr. Ruud Lubbers of the Netherlands. A former Portuguese prime minister, Mr. Guterres was elected by the UN General Assembly to a five-year term and is the UN refugee agency's 10th High Commissioner.... [read more]
Art for Refugees in Transition
There are 17 million refugees and displaced persons in the world today. Eight million are children. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2004.
A.R.T. provides curriculum and training programs to engage both children and adults in refugee camps in visual, performing and creative arts drawn from their own cultures. These activities provide international relief institutions with tools to help refugee communities recover from the trauma, terror and dislocation of war. Please see here the January 2005 report of ART, Art for Refugees in Transition.
Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK
Established in April 2005 the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has an annual budget of more than £75 million. The Council evolved from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which was founded in 1998. AHCR has a range of UK-wide programmes supporting the highest quality research and postgraduate training in the arts and humanities.
The AHRC has launched the following programme:
Diasporas, Migration and Identities (please see Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme)
This £5.5 million trans-disciplinary programme will run for five years until the end of 2009. As the first autonomous research programme run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the aim is to maximise the participation of scholars from a wide range of arts and humanities disciplines in researching, reflecting upon and discussing issues relating to diasporas, migration and identities. To this end several different schemes are being initiated to fund small and large research projects, workshops and networks, conferences and seminars. Interdisciplinary engagement and collaborations with partners in the public sector, the cultural sector and the wider community are encouraged, as is the imaginative dissemination of the research. Kim Knott, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Leeds, has been appointed as the Programme's Director. She took up this part-time (50%) post from January 2005. Professor Knott will provide intellectual leadership and academic coherence in the development and management of the programme. Support will be given to three schemes:
1. The Diasporas, Migration and Identities Small Grants Scheme is designed to provide support of between £1,000 and £10,000 to meet the costs directly related to small-scale research projects. The Scheme will fund experimental initiatives, temporary research assistance and support for individual scholars with travel costs, access to libraries, collections etc.
2. The Diasporas, Migration and Identities Networks and Workshops Scheme is designed to support either a series of workshops over one year (up to £10,000) or a network of researchers over two years (up to £20,000), to enable researchers to share ideas, to develop collaborative proposals or publications, and to support engagement between scholars in the UK and beyond, and between scholars and other other stakeholders. The closing date for applications for the Diasporas, Migration and Identities Small Grants Scheme and the Diasporas, Migration and Identities Networks and Workshops Scheme was 5pm on Friday 24th June 2005. There is no future deadline for either of these schemes.
3. The Diasporas, Migration and Identities large research grants scheme is designed to provide support for teams of researchers for a period of between one to three years. Applications will be encouraged from both less established as well as more established senior scholars, and from those wishing to undertake small-scale innovative shorter projects as well as larger scale and more costly ones. The call for the large research grant scheme will be made in October/November 2005, with a closing date of February 2006 and further details will be available on the website in the Autumn.
We strongly advise you to refer to the full Programme Specification before submitting your application.
You may also wish to consult the Frequently Asked Questions document for further details on the Programme.
For further information about the Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme please contact Professor Kim Knott email firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 0113 343 3646.
If you would like to be added to our mailing list for information about the programme, please email Jennifer Woodward, Research Awards Officer at email@example.com .
For further information about the development of other AHRC strategic programmes, please contact: Faye Auty, Senior Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 0117 987 6664 or Carl Dolan, Programme Development Officer, email@example.com , telephone 0117 987 6682.