Why people become radical extremists and how to help them

New research sheds light on the indoctrination process of radical extremist groups.

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  • A new study features interviews with 24 former extremists on the radicalization process.
  • Financial instability, online propaganda, and reorienting events that caused them to "snap" are leading causes of indoctrination.
  • The research team offers potential solutions, including exposure to diverse ideas during childhood and a tamping down of polarization and media sensationalism.
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Math explains polarization, and it's not just about politics

People often divide the world into "us" and "them" then forget about everybody else.

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  • A new study shows that our polarized "us" vs. "them" view of the world can be modeled mathematically.
  • Those who don't fit easily into either group tend to be disliked.
  • The model is not limited to politics and could be used to explain many aspects of society.
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​How important is civility for democracy? For Habermas, not very.

The public sphere should be open to conflict.

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Have we become unreasonable?
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Politics desperately needs hope, so why does it no longer inspire it?

For some philosophers, hope is a second-rate way of relating to reality.

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In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the word 'hope' was ubiquitous in Western politics.
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Hannah Arendt: Change the world, not yourself

How the German political philosopher called out Henry David Thoreau on civil disobedience.

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It is not often that a neighbourhood squabble is remembered as a world-historical event. In the summer of 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a single night in jail in Concord, Massachusetts after refusing to submit his poll tax to the local constable.
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