J.M. Berger, expert on political extremism and author of new novel Extremism, discusses his definition of extremism, what fuels the extremist narrative, and how extremism can be seen today, touching on ISIS and the rise of right-wing fanaticism. He specifically focuses on the importance of social identity theory, the “them vs. us” mentality, and how the radicalization of such loyalty exists on a spectrum, starting with acts of shunning and ultimately resulting in genocide.
About Our Guest
J.M. Berger is currently a research fellow with VOX-Pol and a postgraduate research student at Swansea University’s School of Law, where he focuses on extremist ideologies. He is the author of two books, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, published in 2011, and his newly published work, Extremism. He has also co-authored ISIS: The State of Terror with fellow academic Jessica Stern. He has written articles for both The Atlantic and Politico magazines and is well-versed on the impact social media and the internet has on the subject of extreme political violence.