Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
The radicalization of domestic Islamist groups in weak or failed states is one of the most serious international security concerns in the world today. What causes some of these groups to adopt transnational political agendas and identities, while others maintain a nationalist focus? Why do some insurgent groups seek affiliations with transnational extremists, while others abjure such ties?
This research proposes that intra-Islamist fighting within a civil-war context is an important determinant in the decision to adopt a transnational identity. To examine this hypothesis against other competing explanations, the research tracks the ideological evolution of the Islamist insurgency in Somalia from 2006–2013.
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