Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Radicalization redux

A while back I wrote:
Politically, governments want social science to support their narratives.... Right now, fear of Islamists means there is a demand for studies of "radicalization". Maybe radicalization is a good object of study – maybe the concept cuts reality at the joints. More likely, it is a concept du jour which adds nothing to the idea of persuasion. 
At a recent workshop preparing for a big government grant application, a distinguished economist explained to me how work in his (thoroughly abstract and theoretical) field could be usefully applied to radicalization.
Noone really understands the true nature of fawning servility until he has seen an academic who has glimpsed the prospect of money.
– Yes, Minister