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New Book, MUTUAL RADICALIZATION: How Groups and Nations Drive Each Other to Extremes

Craig Zelizer

August 3, 2018

MUTUAL RADICALIZATION:  How Groups and Nations Drive Each Other to Extremes, by Fathali M. Moghaddam.

See more here

and an interview with Dr. Moghaddam here

I was in Iran in 1979 when Khomeini’s followers invaded the American Embassy and took 52 Americans as hostages. Four decades later, Donald Trump is continuing to keep the two sides entrapped in a social psychological process I call mutual radicalization, when two groups drive each other to destructive extremes. Mutual radicalization is a universal collective process, in which rational individuals in both groups recognize they are moving in the wrong direction, but feel powerless to prevent the collective ‘stampede’ controlled by extremists on both sides. In this book I present ten detailed case studies of mutual radicalization, demonstrating how collective radicalization leads the groups to adopt a ‘your pain, my gain’ strategy. Through a new model based on empirical research, I highlight cognitive processes, destructive identity transformation and other psychological experiences that underlie mutual radicalization. In the final chapter, solutions to mutual de-radicalization are discussed based on psychological research.


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