A Fresh Look at the Dynamics of Political Radicalization
On 12 January, Chares Demetriou presented his book The Dynamics of Radicalization: A Relational and Comparative Perspective at a seminar of the Laboratory for Economic-Sociological Research. Demetriou, a newly appointed teacher at HSE’s Faculty of Social Sciences, completed his PhD at Columbia University (New York) in 2005 and went on to work on research projects and teach at universities in the USA, Italy, Czech Republic, Israel and Cyprus. His main research interests are in issues of legitimacy and political violence, social movements and nationalism. In his lecture, Demetriou presented new ways of analysing the radicalisation of political groups.
Demetriou explained that he and his fellow authors examined radicalization as a broad phenomenon, a process during which political movements move from being predominantly non-violent to taking up violent action. Demetriou’s choice of frame for research was based on all processes of radicalization having a similar dynamic which allows them to be put in groups and compared, while examining more narrow forms of political violence, like terrorism for example, doesn’t produce the same results. In this research, group radicalization is being examined rather than individual radicalization which is untypical of work in this particular field.
Three episodes of radicalization are examined in the research
The Italian radical left-wing movement and the Red Brigades (1969-1978), EOKA and Enosis underground independence movement in Cyprus (1945-1959), and the Transnational movement of Salafi Jihad and Al-Qaeda (1984-2001). Each episode is examined as an example of a certain level of involvement of a political movement in society: the national level is concerned with the social contract between society and the state about the basic limitations of power, internal movements often aim to change the limits and international movements simply ignore them.
Demetriou concluded that one of the key aspects of this research was that it also examines episodes of de-radicalization and non-radicalization. This is important because it allows us to understand how the incidence of radicalization can be reduced and avoided.
He was emphatic that in order to examine radicalization we must reject the term ‘terrorism’ because firstly, it has hundreds of implications and makes us muddled, and secondly, because it is extremely politicized and involves value judgements which prevent us from doing objective research.
Alexei Shetinin, for the HSE news website
Advice from Above: Sociologists Have Assessed the Impact that Priests Have on How Their Parishioners Vote
Political preferences of at least 21% of Orthodox voters in Russia may be influenced by the clergy and their fellow believers. Based on an online survey of 2,735 respondents, HSE University sociologists Kirill Sorvin and Maksim Bogachev concluded that religion has a considerable impact on people’s political choices. The scholars assume that the share of those who vote ‘in an Orthodox way’ may be higher: many respondents were under 34, and young people are a minority among Orthodox believers in Russia.
On April 10, Ronald Inglehart, founder of the World Values Survey and the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, delivered an honorary lecture at the LCSR’s 9th international seminar held as part of HSE’s XX April Academic Conference. The lecture addressed the roots of authoritarianism, its relationship to other widely investigated phenomena and its empirical linkage with contemporary politics.
Bachelor’s programme ‘Political Science’ and Master’s programmes ‘Applied Politics’ and ‘Politics. Economics. Philosophy’ have been granted international accreditation by Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (ZEvA), based in Hannover, Germany.
Ever since he was a teenager, Judas Everett has been interested in politics. A new postgraduate student in HSE’s Doctoral School of Political Science, Judas says he owes a lot of his continued interest to the teachers he’s had over the years, the right encouragement and the right reading suggestions.
On Tuesday, May 23, William Reisinger, Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, will deliver a seminar at the HSE School of Political Science entitled ‘The Impact of Petty Corruption on Political Support in Post-Soviet Societies’. Ahead of his seminar, Professor Reisinger spoke with the HSE News Service about the topic of his research, how his impressions of Russia and the post-Soviet world have changed since he began visiting the region, and the changing interest in Russia that he has observed among Western students over the past several decades.
On May 17, Dr Jorge Emilio Nunez, a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Law School (UK), delivered a lecture at HSE on the themes from his latest book, ‘Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics’ (Routledge 2017). While addressing members of the HSE community, he explored a solution of egalitarian shared sovereignty, evaluating what sorts of institutions and arrangements could, and would, best realize shared sovereignty, and how it might be applied to territory, population, government and law.
Better nutrition can have a lot to do with the transition to democracy: the more protein-rich, high-quality foods appear in a society's diet, the higher the likelihood of democratic reforms. Apparently, a richer diet is associated with an increase in the middle class, which tends towards economic and political independence and democracy-fostering values. Andrey Shcherbak has found, based on a cross-country comparative study using data on 157 countries, that a change in people's eating habits can serve as a predictor of impending political change. His findings are published in the paper 'A Recipe for the Democracy? The Spread of the European Diet and Political Change'.
EU MPs are increasingly negative on Russia, and their positions are largely defined by their national interests – rather than by their ideological affiliation to any particular political grouping in the European parliament. The researchers believe that this indicates that national interests trump ideological stance for EU MPs. Their research was presented in the article: National or European Politicians? Gauging MEPs Polarity when Russia is Concerned.
From October 5 to 11, the Summer School of the International Laboratory of Decision Choice and Analysis was held at the Higher School of Economics, where Professor Allan Drazen (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, USA) served as the speaker. In a recent interview, he spoke not only about the importance of legislative politics in modern democracies but also about why he was struck by HSE students, why gut instincts are so important, and why theory is more important than practice.
On Tuesday, May 26, Franziska Keller, Ph.D. candidate at New York University and visiting researcher of the HSE International Centre for the Study of Institutions and Development, presented a report called ‘Shaking hands in public. What elite co-appearances tell us about the politics behind the scenes’. This seminar marks the 9th joint Research Seminar on Diversity and Development hosted by the International Centre for the Study of Institutions and Development and NES Centre for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions.