Hertie School: What drives ‚devoted actors‘ to fight and die? Evidence from ISIS frontlines and networks in Europe
As opposed to ‚rational actors‘, ‚devoted actors‘ take an uncompromising stance on ideas they deem sacred, sometimes willing to fight and die for their cause. This stance has helped drive global terrorism and the rise of the Islamic State in recent years. Such ‚devoted actors‘ see themselves as part of a collective identity, and their willingness to make costly sacrifices can enable them to prevail against materially stronger foes. Scott Atran, an anthropologist who holds positions at the University of Michigan, University of Oxford, and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, will speak on his fieldwork interviewing members of the ISIS network, providing insights on why disputes spiral out of control in a rapidly interconnecting world of collapsing and conflicting cultural traditions.
This is the first instalment of the new lecture series ‚Frontline research on terrorism‘ at the Hertie School.