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По наводке [livejournal.com profile] ivanov_petrov

Книга Диего Гамбетты и Стеффена Хертога «Инженеры джихада: любопытная связка между воинствующим экстремизмом и образованием» (Gambetta D., Hertog St. Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education. Princeton University Press, 2016).

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To find answers we investigated the educational composition of more than a dozen violent right- and left- wing groups in chapter 5. We found that engineers are nearly absent among left- wing groups: these are dominated by graduates in the humanities and the social and psychological sciences, of whom we had found barely any among Islamist radicals. By contrast, we found a sizable presence of engineers among right- wing extremists: the only other notable trace of engineers’ prominence outside of Islamist violent groups is among neo- Nazis and white supremacists in Germany, Russia, and the United States; this is all the more striking given the generally low level of education among members of such groups, especially those created after World War II. The engineers’ absolute number is tiny but still disproportionate relative to that of other graduates. Conversely, humanities and social sciences graduates are systematically absent from right- wing groups (as they are from Islamist radicalism). Overall, there is a remarkable correspondence between right- and left- wing militancy on the one hand and type of degree on the other, and this near perfect correlation is found across a variety of groups in different countries and at different times.

Once we compare the tenets of the ideologies we discover that, in fact (chapter 4), right-wing extremism has much more in common with Islamist radicalism than with left- wing extremism, which is consistent with finding engineers among right- wing radicals and not left- wing ones, where other degrees dominate. Radical Islamist movements share a large majority of their fundamental ideological tenets with the radical right, including nostalgia for a lost past, a focus on tradition, a preference for order and hierarchy, and an obsession with rigid identity boundaries. By contrast, radical Islam has only a few generic traits of ideological rigidity in common with the extreme left. We also found intriguing signs that, like identical twins separated at birth whose proclivities continue to be governed by the same genome (e.g., Wright 1998), right- wing and Islamist extremists share an array of values, tastes, and beliefs: values such as antimodernism, opposition of cultural decadence, and pursuit of purity, whether racial or religious; tastes in iconography; and an antiscientific menu of superstitious beliefs.

we identified [...] three character traits that, according to much research in political psychology, incline people toward the right generally: proneness to disgust, need for closure, and strong in- group bias. Using multinational survey data, we found solid evidence not only that these traits are more frequent among engineers than among those pursuing other degrees but also, symmetrically, that they are weakly present among graduates in the social sciences and the humanities, who are typically found at the other end of the political spectrum. They are also stronger among men than they are among women, consistent with women’s presence in extremist movements of the left and not of the right. Finally, the traits account for much of the difference in reported left/right positions between graduates of different disciplines.

We do not have direct evidence that the same traits that favor right-wing extremism are also those that favor Islamist extremism. Ours is a surmise supported by piecemeal evidence and, deductively, by the ideological overlap between right- wing extremists and Islamist extremists: since we know that these traits satisfy the former, it is likely that they satisfy the latter, and this jointly explains why we find engineers in both but not on the left.


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