#THOT (The How Of Terror, July 09, 2016):

Can suicide bombers be farmed? Who is a terrorist? How are terrorists recruited, trained and incentivized? Do terrorists run out of weapons? What role does leadership play in the success of terrorist groups? What happens when a terrorist group is decapitated? Is it possible to dabble in terrorism? Is a terrorist attack always a mixture of violence and theatre, and always a part of a communication strategy? How are terrorist groups organised? Can terrorist groups maintain armies, and military like organization structure? Is (perceived) grievance a necessary condition for terrorism? Is a failed State and chaos always an opportunity for terrorists? Is warlordism usually the first stage in state formation? Is the State usually complicit in allowing a terrorist group to form? Is war politics by other means? Is terrorism often a result of the orthodoxy asserting itself against a reformation(?)? Are terrorist groups willing to engage in dialogues or surrender when they are in ascendancy? Is the use of force always counterproductive? Can there be just terrorism? Is terrorism inevitable? Will terrorism end as an ideological option in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from political science (Prof. Dipak Gupta, San Diego State University, San Diego), & terrorism studies (Dr. Ajai Sahni, Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi).

Listen in….

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #THOT show.

Prof. Dipak Gupta (political science) is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University (SDSU), San Diego, California. He was the Fred J. Hansen Professor of Peace Studies from the periods 1998 – 2001 and 2004 – 2011. He is also former Director and one of the founders of International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR), a multidisciplinary undergraduate program. His areas of expertise include ethnic conflict, collective action, public policy analysis, and quantitative methods. Prof. Gupta received Master’s degrees in Economics from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, India, and University of Pittsburgh. He earned his Ph.D. in the area of Economic and Social Development from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at University of Pittsburgh. He has been a visiting scholar at, among others, Oxford University, Leiden University (Netherlands), Fudan University (Shanghai) and the Terrorism Prevention Branch at the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (Vienna). Prof. Gupta has also received multiple fellowships including the Fulbright (Expert) Fellowship in 2010 at Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey. He is the author of 9 books and over 150 publications in scholarly journals, research monographs, chapters, in edited volumes and newspapers. Besides being a scholar, Prof. Gupta is also an avid painter.

Dr. Ajai Sahni (terrorism studies) is Founding Member & Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi. He is also Executive Director at South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). Dr. Sahni completed his Ph.D. at the University of Delhi, where his dissertation was titled ‘Democracy, Dissent & the Right to Information’. He is the editor of ‘South Asia Intelligence Review’ & the executive editor of ‘Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution’. He has researched and written extensively on issues relating to conflict, politics and development in South Asia, and has participated in advisory projects undertaken for various National or State Governments. He has also collaborated on projects with the United Nations University on, among others, the UNU project on the Management of Insurgencies; and on the UNU World Governance Survey. He jointly edited (with K.P.S. Gill) ‘Terror & Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security’, and ‘The Global Threat of Terror: Ideological, Material and Political Linkages’. He has lectured at numerous professional institutions, prominently including the National Defence College, Army War College, Naval War College, College of Defence Management, LBS National Academy of Administration, R&AW Training College, National Intelligence Academy and SVP National Police Academy, among others. He is a recognized opinion maker in the field of terrorism studies and appears frequently on terrorism and insurgency issues in the electronic and print media.

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#THOT mentionsVoltaire, Clausewitz, Karl Marx, JM Keynes, Margaret Thatcher, & Steven Pinker, among others.