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October 18, at 9: November 12, at 1: November 15, at 4: February 14, at 4: February 28, at 4: December 26, at 8: March 29, at Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button. Select a category below to browse the podcast: Eli Berman on Religious Terrorism Date: Arafat's approach together with the successful program of the Northern Ireland prison service that offered jailed Irish Republican Army and Loyalist operatives to visit their ageing parents, wives and children is the forerunner of Saudi Arabia's much touted rehabilitation program for Al Qa'ida operatives who are captured or turned themselves in.

In his book, "Radical, Religious and Violent — The New Economics of Terrorism", Eli Berman, a former member of the Israeli military's elite Golani brigade-turned-University of California economist, focuses on the Achilles Heel of militant groups or what he calls "the defection constraint".

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Berman quotes an interview with a former Viet Cong rebel that political scientist Sam Popkin conducted four decades after first meeting the guerrilla fighter. The Viet Cong operative recalled that it took the group a few days to recover from the loss of comrades killed in action, but that it could take months to limit the damage done by a defector.

Black September, Northern Ireland and Saudi Arabia offer important lessons for counter terrorism strategies and Western efforts to defeat insurgencies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and stabilize failing states like for instance Somalia. Rather it is the ability of groups like Hizbollah and Hamas to build on the provision of social services — education, health, sports and enforcement of law and order — established mostly before turning to violence to ensure loyalty and prevent defection of their members, including suicide bombers, whom Berman describes as rational altruists rather than deranged operatives poisoned by hate and motivated by heavenly rewards.

Successful militant groups create a mutual aid environment through their provision of services and limiting members' economic and social options outside that environment.

Radical, religious, and violent: the new economics of terrorism

In effect, groups like Hizbollah and Hamas are economic clubs that cater to the spiritual and material needs of their dependent members. The bigger the revenue stream they are able to generate, often through criminal activity such as smuggling and drug trafficking, the better they are able to do so. The Sicilian Mafia, for example, emerged from the ruins of World War Two by resurrecting itself as an economic club. Arafat, the Northern Ireland prison service and Saudi Arabia succeeded in turning militants into healthy members of society exactly because they were able to break the vicious cycle imposed by such clubs by offering club members exit options.

At least in theory, that lesson has seeped into the doctrine of counter terrorism and counter insurgency strategy. It's the cost-benefit analysis of that lesson and the organizational implications it has for the military that has yet to sink in to turn words into deeds. This cost-benefit analysis of Berman's costly counterterrorism recipe involving offering exit options to members of militant clubs, competing directly with rebels in the provision of social and economic services, protecting service providers and reducing rebel revenues garnered from illegal economic activity becomes most apparent in an analysis of militant groups' use of suicide bombers.

Berman's analysis shows that rebel groups employ suicide bombers almost exclusively against hardened targets on which governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to secure.

Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism on Rorotoko

In Berman's view, the cost of hardening targets and defending them against suicide bombers is far higher than the cost of weakening militant clubs and reducing their ability to employ suicide bombers. The challenge is then to find a way to sustainably stabilize allied governments in countries currently generating terrorism, not by merely improving their coercive capability but by also enhancing the ability of local government to provide basic services that replace those provided by clubs," Berman argues.


  1. Unmistakably French;
  2. History of the English People, Volume VIII Modern England, 1760-1815.
  3. Extremely Violent Societies?

The sooner the United States and its allies are able to translate words, anchored in Berman's theory, into deeds, the sooner counterterrorism is likely to produce sustainable rather than immediate but perishable results. The Women of Hamas "Islam Protects Us" The burgeoning fundamentalist religious forces have not only radicalized the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

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A new generation of Palestinian women is also increasingly looking to the Islamists for salvation. Germany plans to introduce in the medium term support programmes for Islamists who would like to turn their back on extremism, similar to the ones that already exist for right-wing extremists. But how effective could such programmes be and would Islamists be drawn to them? Dossier Islamism Islamism is generally considered to be a religious ideology that aims at influencing the political sphere and at ultimately implementing sharia laws.

In this dossier we take a look at the different facets of Islamism in various regions of the world Home Print Newsletter Related Topics All Topics In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English.

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