Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Why are there so many Engineers among Islamic Radicals?

  • Diego Gambetta (a1) and Steffen Hertog (a2)
Abstract

This article demonstrates that among violent Islamists engineers with a degree, individuals with an engineering education are three to four times more frequent than we would expect given the share of engineers among university students in Islamic countries. We then test a number of hypotheses to account for this phenomenon. We argue that a combination of two factors – engineers’ relative deprivation in the Islamic world and mindset – is the most plausible explanation.

L'article montre que parmi les terroristes islamistes de par le monde, les ingénieurs et titulaires d’un diplôme d'enseignement supérieur scientifico-technique sont trois à quatre fois plus nombreux que selon leur part dans l’ensemble des diplômés supérieur. Différentes hypothèses sont explorées. La combinaison de deux facteurs – frustration relative des ingénieurs dans le monde islamique et état d'esprit semble fournir l'explication la plus plausible.

Der Aufsatz zeigt, daß weltweit unter militanten Islamisten mit Hochschulausbildung der Anteil der Ingenieure drei bis viermal hoeher ist, als man dies aufgrund der relativen Groeße verschiedener Fakultaeten in den Herkunftslaendern erwarten wuerde. Die Kombination zweier Faktoren – relative sozio-ökonomische Frustration der Ingenieure in der islamischen Welt und Eigenheiten ihrer Denkweise – scheint die plausibelste Erklärung zu sein.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abrahamian, Ervand, 1989. The Iranian Mojahedin (New Haven, London, Yale University Press).
Abuza, Zachary, 2003. Militant Islam in Southeast Asia: Crucible of Terror (Boulder, London, Lynne Rienner).
Abuza, Zachary, 2006. “Education and Radicalization: Jemaah Islamiyah Recruitment in South East Asia”, in Forest, James J.F., ed., The Making of a Terrorist. Recruitment, Training and Root Causes (Westport and London, Praeger Security International, vol. 1, pp. 66-83).
Akkache, Ahmed, 1990. “Ingénieurs et emploi: quelques données sur l'Algérie”, in Longuenesse, Elisabeth, ed., Bâtisseurs et bureaucrates: ingénieurs et société au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Table-ronde CNRS tenue à Lyon du 16 au 18 mars 1989, coll. Études sur le monde arabe, 4 (Lyon, Maison de l'Orient, pp. 147-154).
Amodio, David, Jost, John, Master, Sarah and Yee, Cindy, 2007. “Neurocognitive Correlates of Liberalism and Conservatism”, Nature Neuroscience, 10, pp. 1246-1247.
Apter, David E., 1965. The Politics of Modernization (Chicago, University of Chicago Press).
Azam, Ahmad Jamil, 1997. “The Islamic Action Front Party”, in Al-Hourani, Hani and Abu Ruma, Hussain, eds., The Islamic Movements and Organizations in Jordan (Amman, Al-Urdun Al-Jadid Research Center/Sindbad Publishing House, pp. 91-140 [in Arabic]).
Bakker, Edwin, 2006. “Jihadi Terrorists in Europe”, Security Paper, 2 (Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Affairs).
Bergen, Peter and Pandey, Swati, 2006. “The Madrassa Scapegoat”, Washington Quarterly, 29 (2), pp. 117-125.
Berrebi, Claude, 2003. Evidence about the Link between Education, Poverty, and Terrorism among Palestinians (Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section, Working Paper, 477).
Best, Shedrack, 1999. “The Islamist Challenge: The Nigerian Shiite Movement”, in Mekenkamp, Monique, van Tongeren, Paul, van de Veen, Hans, eds., Searching for Peace in Africa: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Management Activities (Utrecht, European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation).
Botman, Selma, 1984. Oppositional Politics in Egypt: The Communist Movement, 1936-1954 (PhD Harvard).
Capoccia, Giovanni, forthcoming. “Germany's Response to 9/11: The Persistence of Constitutional Traditions”, in Crenshaw, Martha, ed., The Consequences of Counterterrorist Policies in Democracies (New York, Russell Sage).
Carnegie, Foundation, 1984. National Survey of Higher Education, online at www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/NSHEF84.asp.
Chehabi, Houchang E., 1990. Iranian Politics and Religious Modernism: the Liberation Movement of Iran under the Shah and Khomeini (Ithaca, Cornell University Press).
Cornand, Jocelyne, 1990. “Le rôle des ingénieurs dans le secteur privé en Syrie: le cas du textile”, in Longuenesse, Elisabeth, ed., Bâtisseurs et bureaucrates: ingénieurs et société au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Table-ronde CNRS tenue à Lyon du 16 au 18 mars 1989, coll. Études sur le monde arabe, 4 (Lyon, Maison de l'Orient, pp. 187-200).
Davies, James C., 1962. “Toward a Theory of Revolution”, American Sociological Review, 27 (1), pp. 5-19.
Göle, Nilufer, 1990. “Ingénieurs islamistes et étudiantes. Voile en Turquie: entre le Totalitarisme et l'Individualisme”, in Kepel, Gilles and Richard, Yann, eds., Intellectuels et militants de l'islam contemporain (Paris, Seuil, pp. 167-192).
Gurr, Ted, 1970. Why Men Rebel (Princeton, Princeton University Press).
Hafe, Mohammed, 2003. Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World (Boulder, Co. Lynne Rienner).
Hanafi, Sari, 1990. “La formation des ingénieurs en Syrie et son adaptation aux besoins de la société”, in Longuenesse, Elisabeth, ed., Bâtisseurs et bureaucrates: ingénieurs et société au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Table-ronde CNRS tenue à Lyon du 16 au 18 mars 1989, coll. Études sur le monde arabe, 4 (Lyon, Maison de l'Orient, pp. 171-185).
Hanafi, Sari, 1997. La Syrie des ingénieurs. Une perspective comparée avec l’Égypte (Paris, Éditions Karthala).
Handler, Jeffrey, 1990. “Socioeconomic Profile of an American Terrorist: 1960s and 1970s”, Terrorism, 13 (3), pp. 195-213.
Hayek, Friedrich A. von, 1952. The Counter-Revolution in Science (Glencoe, Ill., The Free Press).
Hegghammer, Thomas, 2006. “Terrorist Recruitment and Radicalization in Saudi Arabia”, Middle East Policy, 13 (4), pp. 39-60.
Hoffman, Valerie, 1995. “Muslim Fundamentalists: Psychosocial Profiles”, in Marty, M. E. and Appleby, R. S., eds., Fundamentalisms Comprehended, vol. 5 of The Fundamentalisms Project (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, pp. 199-230).
Huntington, Samuel, 1996. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, Simon & Schuster).
Ibrahim, Saad Eddin, 1980. “Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups: Methodological Note and Preliminary Findings”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 12 (4), pp. 423-453.
Ibrahim, Saad Eddin, 1982. “Egypt's Islamic Militants”, MERIP Reports, 103, February, pp. 5-14.
Jäger, Herbert, Schmidtchen, Gerhard and Süllwold, Lieselotte, 1981. Analysen zum Terrorismus, vol. 2, Lebenslaufanalysen (Opladen, WDV).
Jost, John, Kruglanski, Arie, Glaser, Jack and Sulloway, Frank, 2003. “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition”, Psychological Bulletin, 129 (3), pp. 339-375.
Kepel, Gilles, 1993. The Prophet and Pharaoh: Muslim Extremism in Egypt, Paperback edition (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press).
Krueger, Alan B., 2007. What Makes a Terrorist? Economics and the Roots of Terrorism (Princeton, Princeton University Press).
Krueger, Alan B. and Maleckova, Jitka, 2003. “Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17, pp. 119-144.
Ladd, Carll E. Jr and Lipset, Seymour M., 1972. “Politics of Academics Natural Scientists and Engineers”, Science, 176, pp. 1091-1100.
Ladd, Carll E. Jr and Lipset, Seymour M., 1975. The Divided Academy: Professors and Politics (New York, McGraw-Hill).
Lipset, Seymour M. and Raab, Earl, 1971. The Politics of Unreason. Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970 (London, Heinemann).
Lobmeyer, Hans Günter, 1995. Opposition und Widerstand in Syrien (Hamburg, Deutsches Orient-Institut).
Longuenesse, Elisabeth, ed., 1990. Bâtisseurs et bureaucrates: ingénieurs et société au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Table-ronde CNRS tenue à Lyon du 16 au 18 mars 1989, coll. Études sur le monde arabe, 4 (Lyon, Maison de l'Orient).
Longuenesse, Elisabeth, 2000. Les syndicats professionnels en Jordanie, Enjeux de société et lutte nationale, GREMMO, Working paper (Groupe de recherches et d’études sur la Méditerranée et le Moyen Orient, http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00111075/en/).
Munson, Henry Jr., 1986. “The Social Base of Islamic Militancy in Morocco”, Middle East Journal, 40 (2), pp. 267-284.
Nakhaie, Reza M. and Brym, Robert J., 1999. “The Political Attitudes of Canadian Professors”, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 24 (3), pp. 329-353.
Nesser, Petter, 2004. Jihad in Europe – A Survey of the Motivations for Sunni Islamist Terrorism in Post-millennium Europe, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, http://rapporter.ffi.no/rapporter/2004/01146.pdf.
OxfordAnalytica, 2006. “Middle East: Intra-Regional Trade to Expand Slowly”, In-Depth Analysis, Oxford, 19 April 2006.
Pedahzur, Ami, 2005. Suicide Terrorism (Cambridge, Polity Press), (also, The changing Patterns of Suicide terrorism, PowerPoint presentation, terrorismexperts.org/changing_patterns.ppt).
Rangwala, Glenn, 2005. Palestinian Biographies, http://middleeastreference.org.uk/indexbio.html.
Ricolfi, Luca, 2005. “Palestinians, 1981-2003”, in Gambetta, Diego, ed., Making Sense of Suicide Missions (Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 77-129).
Roy, Olivier, 1990. “Les nouveaux intellectuels islamistes: essai d'approche philosophique”, in Kepel, Gilles and Richard, Yann, eds., Intellectuels et militants de l'Islam contemporain (Paris, Seuil, pp. 261-283).
Russell, Charles A. and Hildner, Robert E., 1971. “Urban Insurgency in Latin America: its Implications for the Future”, Air University Review, 22 (6), pp. 54-64.
Russell, Charles A. and Miller, Bowman, 1977. “Profile of a Terrorist”, Terrorism, 1 (1), pp. 17-34.
Sageman, Marc, 2004. Understanding Terror Networks (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press).
Schulze, Reinhard, 1990. “Zum Hintergrund Islamischer Politischer Bewegungen”, in Nirumand, Bahman, ed., Im Namen Allahs. Islamische Gruppen und der Fundamentalismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Dreisam-Verlag, Köln).
Smith, Brent and Morgan, Kathryn, 1994. “Terrorists Right and Left: Empirical Issues in Profiling American Terrorists”, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 17 (1), pp. 39-57.
Smith, Shawna, Chiao, Yuan-Ling, Johnston, Aaron et al. , 2003. “Why Are Islamic Militants More Likely to Emerge from Science/Engineering Departments?”, Students’ Project (Hilary Term, University of Oxford, Department of Sociology).
Sonbol, Amira el-Azhary. 1988. “Egypt”, in Hunter, Shireen T., ed., The Politics of Islamic Revivalism: Diversity and Unity (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, pp. 23-38).
Undp, 2003. The Arab Human Development Report (New York, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Arab States).
Unesco, 2005. Education Trends in Perspective – Analysis of the World Education Indicators (Montreal, Unesco Institute for Statistics; Paris, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development).
Von Baeyer-Katte, Wanda, Claessens, Dieter, Feger, Hubert, et al. . 1983. Analysen zum Terrorismus, vol. 3 (Gruppenprozesse, Opladen, WDV).
Waltz, Susan, 1986. “Islamist Appeal in Tunisia”, Middle East Journal, 40 (4), pp. 651-670.
Wickham, Carrie, 2002. Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism and Political Change in Egypt (New York, Chichester, Columbia University Press).
Wiktorowicz, Quintan, ed., 2004. Islamic Activism: a Social Movement Theory Approach (Bloomington, Indiana University Press).
Wright, Lawrence, 2006. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York, Knopf).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie
  • ISSN: 0003-9756
  • EISSN: 1474-0583
  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-sociology-archives-europeennes-de-sociologie
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 53
Total number of PDF views: 253 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2213 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.