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The Role of Ideology in Violent Politics: Mobilisation, Strategy, and Targeting

Contentious Politics
Extremism
National Identity
Political Violence
Security
Terrorism
Political Sociology
Identity
P383
Sarah Marsden
University of St Andrews
Sarah Marsden
University of St Andrews

Building: Jean-Brillant, Floor: 3, Room: B-3245

Friday 15:50 - 17:30 (28/08/2015)


Abstract

Implicated across a range of features central to militant movements, ideology is ubiquitous in the literature on violent politics, considered relevant to everything from mobilisation to targeting. However, it is often weakly theorised and its application to questions of terrorism and political violence has often been overly broad. Equally, the way different ideological positions interact with identity claims to inform how militant actors engage with competitors, supporters and opponents demands further attention. To examine the question of ideology’s role in conflict in more detail, this panel speaks to four themes. First, how should we conceptualise ideology in relation to political violence: as something that exists in the mind of the activist, guiding behavior, or perhaps as something external with which the activist interacts only intermittently? Second, how are different ideological and identity claims framed and operationalised by movement leaders to mobilise recruitment and support, when is this successful and why does it fail? Third, what is the nature and effect of ideological debates within and between movements over appropriate goals and tactics and how do these relate to identity claims about supporters and opponents? Fourth, beyond straightforward ideas about the need for targets of violence to be broadly consonant with the ideological claims of the group, how do ideational and identity constructs inform the object of violence?

Title Details
Ideology, Identity and Political Violence in Four Linked Japanese Groups View Paper Details
When Ideological Fragmentation Prevents Mobilization. The Case of Right-wing Extremist Groups in Canada View Paper Details
The Role of Commitment Mechanisms in Terrorist Radicalization View Paper Details
The Problem of 'Ultra' Violence: The Mobilisation of 'Pro State' Ideologies in Opposition to Civil Rights View Paper Details