The moderates' dilemma : obstacles to mobilization against islamist extremism
- Kerry Persen.
- [Stanford, California] : [Stanford University], 2018.
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- 1 online resource.
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- Persen, Kerry, author.
- Laitin, David D., degree supervisor.
- Blaydes, Lisa, 1975- degree committee member.
- Crenshaw, Martha, degree committee member.
- Tomz, Michael, degree committee member.
- Weinstein, Jeremy M., degree committee member.
- Stanford University. Department of Political Science.
- Why do moderate majorities often fail to coordinate opposition to extremist minorities? Transnational and local movements acting in the name of radical Sunni Islamism are at the forefront of domestic and international security concerns, yet little is known about how moderate Muslims react to extremist violence explicitly justified in the name of a shared religious faith and the circumstances under which they mobilize against it. This manuscript offers an explanation for the microfoundations of mod- erate mobilization in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country. Using original survey data, observational data, qualitative interviews and case studies, I find that moderates fear social shaming from radicals and their sympathizers for ex- pressing anti-violent viewpoints. These anticipated reputation costs lead some to hide moderate attitudes resulting in a failure of moderates to collectively condemn violence in line with their individual beliefs, a phenomenon I call the "Moderates' Dilemma." I show that the severity of this dilemma varies by an individual's sensitivity to reputation costs and uncertainty about support for violence. These findings have significant implications for countering violent extremism globally.
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- Submitted to the Department of Political Science.
- Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2018.
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