February 16, 2012
START's spring seminar features John Horgan
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) will bring internationally recognized terrorism scholar John Horgan to campus to discuss his research during START's spring seminar at noon Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Biology/Psychology Building Room 1142.
In his talk “Disengagement and De-radicalization from Terrorism,” Horgan will discuss how and why people leave terrorist groups. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in disengagement and de-radicalization from terrorism. But despite the significance of this topic for national security interests, social and behavioral scientific research on these areas remains underdeveloped. Drawing on interviews conducted with dozens of former terrorists, Horgan will discuss the social and psychological factors that influence the decision to disengage, and will draw on lessons learned from similar processes in gangs, cults, and industrial organizations. In making a fundamental distinction between disengagement and de-radicalization, Horgan will outline an agenda for future psychological research on these phenomena.
Horgan is the director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is also associate professor of psychology. Author of more than sixty publications, Horgan’s books include “The Psychology of Terrorism (2005),” “The Future of Terrorism (1999, with Max Taylor),” “Walking Away from Terrorism: Accounts of Disengagement from Radical and Extremist Movements (2009)” and the forthcoming “Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland’s Dissident Terrorists (with Oxford University Press).”
Horgan has served as a member of START’s executive committee for the past two years and is partner in the recently awarded five-year Center of Excellence Award from the Department of Homeland Security. Horgan is a member of the Editorial Boards of Terrorism and Political Violence, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Behavioral Science of Terrorism and Political Aggression, and the Journal of Strategic Security. He is a member of the Research Advisory Board of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). He holds a Ph.D. and B.A. in Applied Psychology from University College, Cork.