The Aarhus model
July 17, 2016 3:41 PM   Subscribe

"Aarhus is the first, to my knowledge, to grapple with [extremism] based on sound social psychology evidence and principles," Kruglanski says. What Link and Aarslev were doing was so unexpected that it created an opening for people to think differently about their ideology. "They expect to be treated harshly," Kruglanski says. Instead, they got the opposite. "That kind of shock opens people's minds to maybe they were wrong about their society that they perceived as their enemy. It opens a possible window into rethinking and re-evaluating."

Further proof of just how rare "common sense" is.
posted by chavenet at 3:51 PM on July 17, 2016 [8 favorites]

Maybe this Jesus guy from the Christian Gospels was on to something . . .

posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 3:56 PM on July 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

Reminds me of this article: All you need is love, or how the terrorists stopped terrorism.
posted by Freen at 3:59 PM on July 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

There is a treatment for youth who are spiritually seduced by radicalism. It is a one strike yer out kind of logic, which has been replaced by rationality, and the compassion it takes to apply and share it. It is an innately disrespectful approach to treat young people who seek in this particular arena as pre-criminals. They are young people doing what they do, especially when they are bullied and marginalized. Yeah, yeah, yeah, young rattlesnakes are just as poisonous as the mature ones, but in this case there is a lot of money flowing inside of radical organizations, used to lure foot soldiers. The problem of child soldiering is world wide.
posted by Oyéah at 4:02 PM on July 17, 2016

The turning point in the story was a police officer apologizing. To a minority. Unforced. As part of a sensible policing policy.

This feels like a crossover from a utopian alternate universe.
posted by clawsoon at 5:32 PM on July 17, 2016 [7 favorites]

Mostly utopian. Seems to me that Jamal wouldn't have needed the crime prevention officers' intervention had he not been raked across the coals for that single comment he made in class.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:01 PM on July 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is hope. A direction towards solving the intractable problem. Not right away, not with everyone, but it will be less costly in the long run than the constant ratcheting up of security and the damage to civil society that goes along with it.

The key is belonging. Everyone has to feel like they belong, or everyone will have to be under suspicion at all times.
posted by yoz420 at 1:07 AM on July 18, 2016

The link makes me wonder if France's problem with terrorist attacks doesn't have to do with the hard-line approach they're taken towards their Muslim community (banning burquas and closing mosques) in turn radicalizing at-risk youth population. (Of course, France citizens didn't deserve to be killed, but after the last incident, "why France?" has been on people's minds, or at least mine.)

A similar approach as discussed in the link is being used towards at-risk youths in Richmond, CA. After identifying teenagers who are highly likely to shoot someone, or be shot and killed in the near future, they give them a mentor and a monthly stipend instead of a cell.
posted by fragmede at 1:54 AM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

A similarly "unorthodox" approach to defusing radicalisation is being adopted in in Vilvoorde, in Belgium.
posted by progosk at 8:18 AM on July 18, 2016

This was on Invisibilia, which is a pretty great podcast that you folk should check out. They just scalped Hanna Rosin from Slate to co-host.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2016

So glad to see that a common sense approach is finally starting to take hold, instead of the more common Punish-Them-All methodology that has been the tactic used by nearly everyone forever.

I think people get so drawn up into the "But Terrorism!" side of things that they forget that ultimately, so many of these Muslims being radicalized are young men, who as young men are extremely wont to do; bridle at authority. Governments take a hard line approach, crack down, and tell everyone "never ever do this"! and think that will work.

Shit, it's like no one remembers what it's like to be a teenager; I mean take perceived oppression, add in an outsider group that everyone is afraid of that will accept them, add in some military style training, add in your standard rebellious "what have you got?" teenage reaction, and then cook it over actual oppression, and you have the perfect recipe to keep the ranks of terrorist groups full. (replace "terrorist group" with "cult" or "gang" and the math still works out)

It's even easier in areas local to Isis, in that they don't have to start with perceived oppression, the actual bombs and guns of the West have provided a more than adequate reality there.

The one thing I do find kind of depressingly ironic is that so many of the young people rebelling against the authority of their state, are just replacing it with an even more draconian form of authority- albeit one that they probably haven't see the hard edge of punishment directed against them from yet.
posted by quin at 11:12 AM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

When I lived in Aarhus in the early 2000s they also had this thing where you could borrow a Muslim (or a Roma person, or a Trans person) from the public library on a Saturday and take them for coffee to learn about their life. I could never decide if it was horrifyingly objectifying and othering, or a clever idea.

Either way, it is clearly a community that is willing to experiment in the service of social improvement.
posted by lollusc at 11:11 AM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

« Older Presidential Campaigns Are Like Wildfires/State of...   |   “May the Force be with us.” Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments