Lecture Schedule:

  • Jan. 28-April 22, Thursdays, 4:30-6:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)
  • Nasitir Hall 100
  • Free and open to the public
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Terrorism remains the most prominent threat to the security of the U.S., but little is known about the people who actually carry out political violence in this country. SDSU’s spring lecture series, “Killing for a Higher Cause: Political violence in a world in crisis,” will take an in-depth look at terrorism and those who are willing to kill themselves in order to kill many more.

“This lecture series is really about understanding the motivations of terrorists, not only those in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, but home-grown terrorists as well,” said Dipak Gupta, the Fred J. Hansen Professor of World Peace.

Top experts to discuss terrorism and public policy

The semester-long lecture series will bring some of the top experts in terrorism and human motivation to provide insight into the threat of terrorism around the world, as well as the public policy needed to address the issues.
Robert Mechikoff
Marc Sageman, an independent researcher on terrorism, will lecture at SDSU on February 4.

Among the visiting lecturers is Marc Sageman, one of the most well-known experts on terrorism and a former member of the Central Intelligence Agency who has worked in Afghanistan.  Sageman’s lecture on Feb. 4 addresses the “Turn to Political Violence.”  On March 4, Ariel Merari, a professor from Tel Aviv University in Israel and the world’s foremost expert on suicide bombings, will present “In their own voice: Interviews with, and psychological tests of suicide bombers, their commanders and families.”

Lecture schedule

All lectures (*unless otherwise noted) will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Nasitir Hall 100 on the SDSU campus. A complete list of lecturers and topics is below:

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
Radical Islam: An Examination of the Global Threat – Farhana Ali, senior analyst, RAND Corporation [M.C. Madhavan Lecture].    

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010
The Turn to Political Violence – Marc Sageman, Sageman Consulting LLC, adjunct associate professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University [Hansen-Hostler Distinguished Lecture].

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010

The Anatomy of Hate: A Dialogue of Hope (documentary film) – Mike Ramsdell, director. The film reveals the shared narratives found in individual and collective ideologies of hate, and how we as a species can overcome them. For six years, Ramsdell worked with unprecedented access to some of the most venomous ideologies and violent conflicts of our time, including the White Supremacist movement, Christian Fundamentalism as an anti-gay platform, Muslim Extremism, the Palestinian Intifada, Israeli Settlers and Soldiers, and U.S. Forces in Iraq.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 at 7 p.m.
The Causes of Terrorist Violence – Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca, professor of political science and research director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences at Juan March Institute.

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
The Srebrenica Massacre: Evaluating its significance for Post-Cold War International Relations – David Gibbs, associate professor of history and government, University of Arizona.

Thursday, March 4, 2010
In their own voice: Interviews with, and psychological tests of suicide bombers, their commanders and families – Ariel Merari, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda – Lee Ann Fujii, assistant professor of political science and international affairs, George Washington University.

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Terrorism: How should we respond – Richard English, Queen’s University Belfast.

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War – Zachariah Mampilly, assistant professor, political science department, Vassar College.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Re-thinking political violence: Torture, democracy, and complicity – Shampa Biswas, chair, Department of Politics, Whitman College.

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust – Nick Beams, International Editorial Board, World Socialist Website.

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