Date of Original Version

Spring 2016



Abstract or Description

The current international political system places a heavy focus on one of the most pressing issues of the current era: extremism in the form of terrorism and insurgencies. Extremism is a word that can be applied to a vast variety of actors and strategies, defined by Manus Midlarsky as “the will to power by a social movement in the service of a political program typically at variance with that supported by existing state authorities, and for which individual liberties are to be curtailed in the name of collective goals, including the mass murder of those who would actually or potentially disagree with that program.”1 Terrorist organizations and insurgencies are two physical manifestations of extremism that allow the concept to take control of a region, often resulting in widespread violence. While the concept of extremism is by no means new, its ability to cause widespread destruction through insurgencies and terrorist organizations using modern technology and strategies certainly is, leading extremism to be a large source of concern even in countries that are thousands of miles from any armed extremist conflicts. Policy has failed in the past to provide a solution with the potential to calm these fears, and in the case of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seems to only strengthen the flame of extremism


Advisor: Molly Dunigan

Institute for Politics and Strategy

Embargo Date