Eli Berman


On his book Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism

Cover Interview of December 14, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“How governments should approach terrorism.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Radical religious organizations tend to succeed because they can select recruits carefully to create defection-resistant organizations.  How do they resist defection?  Communism.  Religious radicals, such as the Amish, Hutterites, and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, are masters of mutual aid, creating tight-knit communities that are incredibly supportive of their members.”

On the second:

“The Mennonites are pacifists today, though their fellow Anabaptists were often violent in the chaotic period during which both sects first emerged.”