The images of rioters storming the Capitol in Washington in January 2021 were terrifying. How did it get to the point where large groups of people in striking clothes wanted to prevent President Joe Biden from being installed? What motivates people to use violence and undermine democracy? What role does disinformation and social media play in this radicalization process and how can it be countered?

In an increasingly individualizing and globalizing world, it can be difficult to process the vast amount of information and distinguish fact from fiction. And this can sometimes have far reaching consequences such as far-right extremism, terrorist attacks or leaving for Syria to support the caliphate. During Radicalization and undermining democracy Jessica Sciarone discusses, among other things, why people take these steps. How it is possible for them to fight for ideas that are sometimes rationally opposed to their own interests. What underlying structures in society are important here? Is there discontent or does the desire to be part of a group mainly play a role? And are these polarizing groups a danger to democracy?

Jessica Sciarone is doing research at the University of Washington on gender and radicalization with a special interest in the far right. Her research focuses on women who join extremist groups. Are their motivations different from those of men? What role do they play in such organizations? Sciarone has a background in Intelligence and International Security (King’s College London) and Security Management.

More information
Date: Thursday 1 June 2023
Time: 17:00-18:00 hrs (doors open around 16:50 hrs)
Location: T3-39 (Mandeville Building)
Moderation: Lenya Slierendrecht
Entrance: Free

This programme is organized by Studium Generale.