Evelin Lindner: Humiliation and Terrorism
As part of PSYC3203 - Anvendt sosialpsykologi
Part 1: Lecture
Part 2: Questions - Comments
See more information and more videos on the topic of humiliation and terrorism on the web site of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network, at www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/videos.php:
"The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Terrorism" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
We are still all shocked and profoundly saddened that Norway, where we had the most wonderful and peaceful launch of our World Dignity University initiative (on 24th June 2011), has been struck by such violence.
The rose-processions in July in Norway gave courage. They highlighted that the future lies in the mobilization of responsible citizens who stand together in solidarity. Today, there is no place on this earth that is not affected by what happens in the rest of the world, be it that people are opening up or closing themselves off to this larger world.
Inga Bostad, Vice-Rector of the University of Oslo, greeted the conference participants of the 17th Annual Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand. Lasse Moer video-taped Inga Bostad's personal message to the conference participants on 26th August 2011. In the light of the terrible 22/7 terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya, Inga Bostad encourages and urges everybody to engage in dialogue. She urged the conference participants to work on the World Dignity University Initiative during the conference.
Her words confirm that we must work locally and globally: Dignity must be a movement, a culture, a spirit, both locally and globally.
And this is precisely what we work for in our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network and with our World Dignity University initiative.
Joining hands, nurturing a culture of mutual care, working for dignity, locally and globally, is what we need to invest all our energy in. Even though it cannot undo any harm that has happened in the past, it will, hopefully, help contribute to preventing more harm being perpetrated in the future. Never has work for dignity been more important.
In our work, we see it as our responsibility to create and disseminate narratives that respect the grievances that stand behind such violent narratives, yet, lead them into the direction of the dignity of a Mandela, rather than the direction of terror, genocide, and war.
We believe that the terrible tragedy that happened in Oslo and on Utøya is not just a Norwegian "problem" but a call that we, as humankind, have to show much more civic responsibility. The dignity of "unity in diversity" is the path to go, rather than "uniformity in division," or one camp trying to achieve "strength" through inner uniformity, in hostile division to the "enemy" camp that responds in kind (Christian versus Muslim, for example). Global interdependence, and the need for global cooperation in the face of global challenges, requires that we understand that narratives of hostile division bring demise to all of us, from whatever background such narratives may originate.
This was the message from the HumanDHS network after 22nd July 2011: "We are with you in Norway now, all of us, from all around the world, with our hearts and our tears, and, let us all understand that here we face a global responsibility, for all of humankind!"
See Terror in Norway: How Can We Continue from a Point of Utter despair? Promoting a Dignity Culture, not Just Locally, but Globally, a paper prepared for the 17th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies “Enlarging the Boundaries of Compassion” in Dunedin, New Zealand, 29th August - 1st September 2011.
Introduction: On 22nd July 2011, Norway suffered two sequential terrorist attacks against its civilian population, the government, and a political summer camp in Norway. This tragedy has shocked Norway to the point that even mentioning the name of the 32-year-old perpetrator Anders Behring Breivik was being avoided for a while and ABB was being used to refer to him. He was first regarded as right-wing terrorist and later, in an initial evaluation, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A second evaluation began on 13th January 2012. The guiding questions of this paper are the following: What should be done after such atrocities have occurred? How can one continue from a point of utter despair? What can a society do to help its members? What can a society do to help prevent repetitions of similar acts of violence in the future?
See also a chapter written by Evelin Lindner earlier (among others), "The Relevance of Humiliation Studies for the Prevention of Terrorism," in Pick, Thomas M., Speckhard, Anne, and Beatrice Jacuch (Eds.), Home-Grown Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe, Section 3.1: The Societal Subsoil Nurturing Intolerant Militancy and Terrorism, as Against Measures and Processes Nurturing Tolerance, Section 3.1, pp. 163-188, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, E: Human and Societal Dynamics, Vol. 60, 2009. These are Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop Indigenous Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation Among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe, Budapest, Hungary, 7-9th March, 2008. Please see a long first draft of this paper, and see also some pictures of the event at www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php.
Abstract: Why do young people who grew up in Europe kill innocent citizens in suicide attacks? In her paper, the author makes a link between the deep structure of terrorism and genocide, and offers humiliation as an explanation for both—feelings of humiliation, which carry the potential to lead to acts of humiliation and cycles of humiliation. Current historic times are characterised by two historically novel trends, first, rapidly increasing global interdependence, and second, a growing impact of the human rights message. Furthermore, new research indicates that one can feel as humiliated on behalf of victims one identifies with, as if one were to suffer this pain oneself, a phenomenon that is magnified when media give access to the suffering of people in far-flung places. Human rights ideals also compound this effect because humiliation represents the core violation of the human rights ideal of equality in dignity for all human beings. In the context of globalisation and human rights, therefore, humiliating people no longer produces humble underlings but risks fostering angry 'terrorists,' who have yet to realise that equal rights and dignity for all can only be attained by non-humiliating means. The Nelson-Mandela path out of humiliation, namely his strategy of embarking on proactive constructive social change instead of re-active cycles of humiliation, requires the nurturing, locally and globally, of a social and societal climate of mature differentiation, embedded into respect for the equality in dignity of all.
See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php
See also Norway and the World after the 22nd of July 2011: The Significance of the World Dignity University Initiative (in Norwegian)
Norge og verden etter den 22. juli 2011: Betydningen av et Verdensuniversitet for verdighet og likeverd, av Evelin Lindner
Denne videoen ble tatt opp av Evelin Lindner i New York City den 3. november 2011. Se også teksten i pdf format.
Se også Inga Bostad, prorektor av Universitetet i Oslo, og hennes personlige videohilsen som hun sendte til oss i august 2011, når vi hadde vår 17 årlige konferanse. Hun bekreftet hvor umåtelig viktig det er å arbeide for en global verdighetskultur og at å utvikle Verdensuniversitetet for verdighet og likeverd må være vår høyeste prioritet. Lasse Moer lagde videoen med Inga Bostad i Oslo. (Nøkkelord: Anders Behring Breivik, Utøya)
"The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Genocide" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
See, among others, article titled "Genocide, Humiliation, and Inferiority: An Interdisciplinary Perspective," in Robins, Nicholas and Adam Jones (Eds.), Genocides by the Oppressed: Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice, Bloomington, chapter 7, pp. 138-158. IN: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Abstract: Genocide has many perplexing characteristics. For example, is it solely and fundamentally about killing? If so, why are so many genocide victims not “merely” killed, but elaborately humiliated beforehand? Furthermore, are the victims of genocide not members of rather powerless minorities whose significance is blown up artificially? If so, why are resources mobilized to humiliate and kill people who are already powerless? Why, in short, are the powerless perceived as a threat? This chapter draws on the author’s work on humiliation studies, and other analyses of humiliation in the genocide-studies literature. It suggests that neither ethnic fault lines, nor dwindling resources or other “rational” conflicts of interest, nor simple scapegoating, nor any general “evilness” of human nature may lie at the heart of genocide. Rather, complex psychological mindsets and behavioral clusters operate according to their own “rationality.” These may entail acts of humiliation as a response to fear of humiliation – or, more precisely, to an imagined fear of future humiliations, based on past ones. Accordingly, genocide’s perpetrators may be drawn not only from elites, but also from a recently risen underclass exhibiting a complex web of features, sometimes labeled as an “inferiority complex.” These dynamics are relevant not only for genocide, but also for global terrorism and thus represent an important field of inquiry not only locally but also for global human security.
See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php