Uncovering the Motivational, Cognitive, and Social Elements of
Radicalization and Deradicalization:
A DoD Minerva Research Initiative Project
Scott Atran is Director of Research at ARTIS, a research director in anthropology at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France, a visiting professor of psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan, and a presidential scholar at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He is a world leader in field research on social and political conflict and radicalization and his broadly interdisciplinary scientific studies have appeared in such prestigious journals as Science and Nature, as well as news outlets including the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Atran's books include The Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion, and The Native Mind: Cognition and Culture in Human Knowledge of Nature (forthcoming). In addition to his work on social and political conflict, Atran conducts ongoing research in Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S. on universal and culture-specific aspects of biological categorization and environmental reasoning and decision making funded by France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and by the U.S. National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
Primary Minerva Research Focus: Field Research in Egypt and Morocco
Jeremy Ginges is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research and an expert in administering experimental surveys in the MENA region. His research explores the psychological dimension of cultural and political conflicts, including how people manage to cooperate with members of different ethnic, national or religious groups, why cooperation breaks down into violent conflict, and the psychosocial consequences of exposure to political violence. Ginges’ work has been published in outlets such as Science, Psychological Science, American Psychologist, Judgment and Decision Making, and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Rich Davis is the CEO and Managing Director of ARTIS Corporation, which engages in research and consulting on international conflict and energy. Davis is actively engaged in the improvement of economic and social conditions in Arizona, his home and native state, through writing, speaking and advising on policy development. Prior to his current work, Davis served President George W. Bush at The White House as the Director of Terrorism Prevention Policy for the Homeland Security Council. Previously, he served as the Director of the Task Force to Prevent the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect and the Director of the Academe, Policy and Research Senior Advisory Committee for Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff at the United States Department of Homeland Security. Davis has led a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of youth. He performed this work in the United States, the Caribbean, Russia and Central Asia. Mostly, the work focused on the development of conflict mitigation strategies and educational opportunities to keep young men focused on building communities rather than destroying them.
Robert Axelrod is the Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan. He has appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Axelrod is best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation, which has been cited in more than five hundred books and four thousand articles. His current research interests include complexity theory (especially agent-based modeling), and international security. Among his honors and awards are: membership in the National Academy of Sciences, a five year MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for an outstanding contribution to science, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War.
As the Director of Field Coordination and Ethics Review at ARTIS Research & Risk Modeling, Andrea manages research foreign and domestic initiatives. She works closely with local and foreign researchers, as well as institutional partners, to ensure the ethical and scientific standards of the research are met while maintaining sponsor expectations and deadlines. Andrea has a background in communications and psychology, with over 8 years of experience in academic and private sector social science research settings. She received an M.A. in Forensic Psychology, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York; and obtained her B.S. in Communications from Northeastern University.
Baruch Fischhoff is the Howard Heinz University Professor in the departments of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where he heads the Decision Sciences major. His research interests included risk communication, analysis and management, adolescent decision-making, security, and environmental protection. Fischhoff has co-authored or edited seven books, including Acceptable Risk, A Two-State Solution in the Middle East: Prospects and Possibilities, Risk Communication: A Mental Models Approach, Risk Analysis and Human Behavior, and Counting Civilian Casualties.
Doug Medin is the Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology and holds a joint appointment in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. His research interests include concepts, categorization and reasoning, and cultural and cognitive dimensions of moral reasoning and decision-making. He has conducted research on cognition and learning in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. He has edited or coauthored four books, including The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature, Culture and Resource Conflict: Why Meanings Matter, and Folkbiology, and has published in journals such as Psychological Science, Judgment and Decision Making, American Psychologist, and Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Ms. Moukni is an accomplished social researcher with seven years of field experience in the non-profit sector, particularly with project management and coordination. She has in-depth knowledge of interview and survey methodology, most recently managing the USAid funded "At-Risk Youth in Moroccan Shantytowns" project. She is a native Arabic speaker and is fluent in French and English.
Lydia Wilson is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, working with ARTIS on moral decision-making in conflict. After working as a journalist in the UK and the Middle East, Lydia took a PhD in Arabic history and philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She currently holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge in the department of History and Philosophy of Science, researching 20th century history of science, while still writing for publications from Time Magazine to The Times Literary Supplement. Lydia is a founding editor of the Cambridge Literary Review.
Juan Carlos Zarate, Esq. served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism from 2005 to 2009. In this role, Mr. Zarate was responsible for developing and overseeing the effective implementation of the U.S. government’s counterterrorism strategy. He was also responsible for overseeing all policies related to transnational security threats, including counter-narcotics, maritime security, hostages, international organized crime, money laundering, and critical energy infrastructure protection. Prior to joining the NSC, Mr. Zarate served as the first Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes and as a prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Section. Mr. Zarate is the author of Forging Democracy: A Comparative Study of the Effects of U.S. Foreign Policy on Central American Democratization, a book on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on democratization in Central America, as well as "The Emergence of New Dog of War: Private International Security Companies, International Law, and the New World Disorder," a groundbreaking article published in 1998 on the growing use of private military and security companies by nation states.
Mr. Zarate is now a Senior Adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a national security consultant and analyst for CBS News.