Abbasi Program Faculty Director Lisa Blaydes featured in Stanford News Article
When political scientist Lisa Blaydes teaches 9/11 to her students, she tries to give an international perspective of the issues, particularly on how grievances can arise – both legitimately or falsely constructed – in countries abroad and how that can lead to extremism and political violence. For example, in her course Political Science 149: Middle Eastern Politics, several classes are dedicated to examining anti-American attitudes in the Islamic world and the conditions under which individuals become radicalized.
“I try to make sure that students understand both the individual motivations associated with the radicalization of political thought as well as the global context that empowers radicalized individuals to undertake violent action,” said Blaydes, a professor of political science in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a senior fellow at FSI. She asks students to read Lawrence Wright’s book The Looming Tower, which picks up on themes Blaydes covers in the course, particularly those dealing with how authoritarian regimes in the Arab world provided a backdrop for the rise of al-Qaida.
In recent years, Blaydes has found her students showing an increased interest in learning more about radical groups like ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and how they have terrorized communities across the Middle East. “While Sept. 11 made terrorism a salient threat for Americans living in U.S. cities, both terrorism and state-sponsored violence are unfortunately a trauma shared by people around the world,” she said.
Read the full article: How Stanford scholars are teaching the next generation about 9/11