The violent actions of a few extremists can alter the course of
history, yet there persists a yawning gap between the potential impact
of these individuals and what we understand about them. In Engineers of Jihad,
Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog uncover two unexpected facts, which
they imaginatively leverage to narrow that gap: they find that a
disproportionate share of Islamist radicals come from an engineering
background, and that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in
common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are
absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent. Searching
for an explanation, they tackle four general questions about extremism:
Under which socioeconomic conditions do people join extremist groups?
Does the profile of extremists reflect how they self-select into
extremism or how groups recruit them? Does ideology matter in sorting
who joins which group? Lastly, is there a mindset susceptible to certain
types of extremism?
Using rigorous methods and several
new datasets, they explain the link between educational discipline and
type of radicalism by looking at two key factors: the social mobility
(or lack thereof) for engineers in the Muslim world, and a particular
mindset seeking order and hierarchy that is found more frequently among
engineers. Engineers' presence in some extremist groups and not others,
the authors argue, is a proxy for individual traits that may account for
the much larger question of selective recruitment to radical activism. Opening up markedly new perspectives on the motivations of political violence, Engineers of Jihad yields unexpected answers about the nature and emergence of extremism. Boktitel: Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education Författare:Diego Gambetta & Steffen Hertog Bokförlag: Princeton
is professor of social theory at the European University Institute,
Florence, and official fellow of Nuffield College at the University of
Oxford. His books include The Sicilian Mafia and Codes of the Underworld (Princeton).
Steffen Hertog is associate professor of comparative politics at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats.