Charisma as a resource of terrorist recruiters: Appeal, Process and Effects on the recruit in Bangladesh

Dec 01, 2019

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DUCSU Law and Politics Review hosted the first event of "DU Thinks!" on 1st December 2019 where Sumaiya Iqbal, a valedictorian of the Department of Criminology, University of Dhaka presented her thesis on Charisma as a resource of terrorist recruitment in Bangladesh in front of an esteemed panel.

The panel consisted of the following members:

1. Professor Dr Zia Rahman, Chairman, Dept of Criminology, University of Dhaka; 2. Professor Dr. Rashed-uz-Zaman, Dept of International Relations, University of Dhaka; 3. Monjurul Islam, CEO & Chief Editor, DBC News; and 4. Monirul Islam, Addl. Commissioner and Chief, Counter Terrorism Division, Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

The abstract of the presented thesis is as follows:

The phenomenon of charisma can be used to explain the interesting dynamic of influence within relationships. An area not ventured into yet in the field of terrorism studies and the context of Bangladesh is the charisma and appeal of the recruiter, referring to the individual motivating others to be involved in terrorist activities. This lecture attempted to analyze what attributes constitute charisma of the recruiter in the eyes of potential recruit, the process of how said charisma works and the effects which manifest in the recruit as a result. The research was conducted with grounded theory methodology, using the bottom to up inductive process, for construction of an explanatory framework on the basis of observations on field. Constant comparative analysis assisted in the development of a coding paradigm which highlighted high order analytic categories. Findings have identified a three-step process of initiation, facilitation and finally activation explaining how charisma works within the recruiter-recruit dynamic, simultaneously answering that charisma comprises of not only personal attributes but also method and content of communication. The paper was inspired by the concept of charisma developed by Max Weber (1978) and has attempted to extend to that body of literature by explaining the leader-follower dynamic formed on the basis of charismatic leadership within the recruiter and recruit.

"DU Thinks!" is an initiative of DUCSU LPR where DUCSU Law and Politics Review aims to bridge the gap between the students of DU and the policy makers of the country because we believe the serious academic endeavors of the students of this premier institution deserve attention from our policy makers.

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