08 November 2018, Scott Atran, PhD, The Islamic State’s Lingering Legacy among Young Men from the Mosul Area, Uppsala University

 

Abstract: After expulsion of Islamic State forces from Mosul, Iraq’s government declared the country “fully liberated” and the Islamic State “defeated.” But field interviews and non-threatening psychological experiments with young Sunni Arab men from the Mosul area indicate that the Islamic State may have lost its “caliphate,” but not necessarily the allegiance of supporters of both a Sunni Arab homeland and governance by sharia law. These continued supporters of some Islamic State core values appear more willing to make costly sacrifices for these values than those who value a unified Iraq.

 

Nearly all study participants rejected democracy, and expressed unwillingness to tradeoff values for material gain. Thus, rather than relying on implementation of Western values or material incentives to undercut (re)radicalization, the findings suggest that alternative interpretations of local society’s core values could be leveraged as ‘wedge issues’ to better divide groups such as the Islamic State from supporting populations.

 

From July to October 2017, the authors, led by Scott Atran conducted in-depth, one-on-one interviews, including evaluation on a series of psychological measures, with young Sunni men just coming out from under Islamic State rule in Mosul, Iraq, and the surrounding region.

 

The lecture will summarize the authors’ findings, with a 30 minute Q&A period

 

15 November 2018 Max Tegmark, PhD (MIT), Life 3.0: Living in the Age of AI.

Stockholm University. Sponsored by Boston Consulting Group

 

Spring 2019, Big Science - a survey of the largest science projects on the planet, by Barry Barish, PhD

 

 

 

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