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William Samuel’

The Trouble with Tribalism…

7 July 2016 …is that most Western politicians don’t get it. It’s seen as something relevant to Pre-Modern ‘primitive’ communities but not to Modern societies. And, when Western-style one person/one (secret) vote Democracy is offered to tribal communities as part of the Modernisation process, so many Western leaders seem genuinely perplexed at the relative lack of enthusiasm for it. The Americans in particular seemed baffled that attempts to embed Democracy in the wake of their invasions of the Noughties produced the markedly-corrupt government of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and the corrupt and overtly-sectarian government of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq. A Do-It-Yourself attempt to introduce Democracy in Egypt produced a government (of the Islamic Brotherhood) so unacceptable to the urban middle classes and the army that a ‘sort-of coup’ was instigated, followed by rigged elections, to return the country to neo-military rule as before. Highly-controversial and bitterly-contested ‘democratic’ elections following Libya’s revolutionary civil war resulted in 2 – and arguably 3? – would-be governments claiming the right to rule with their various militia, often organised on sectarian or tribal lines, slugging it out in a patchy, second civil war. Anyone versed in the Gravesian approach could have told the Western planners and the internet-inspired urban ‘democrats’ of Egypt that their campaigns to introduce Western-style Democracy would hit trouble. (See:… Read More

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Bibliography S

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Sachs, Jeffrey (2005): ‘Why Aid does work’ (BBC News) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4210122.stm (Accessed: 01/01/17) Sachs, Jeffrey (2011): ‘Stop this Race to the Bottom on Corporation Tax’ in Financial Times (28 March) Sachs, Wolfgang, Reinhard Loske & Manfred Linz (1998): ‘Greening the North: a Post-Industrial Blueprint for Ecology and Equity’ (Zed Books, London) Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van Ijzendoorn, Ora Aviezer, Frank Donnell & Ofra Mayseless (1994): ‘Sleeping out of home in a Kibbutz Communal Arrangement: It makes a Difference for Infant-Mother Attachment’ in Child Development 65/4 Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van IJzendoorn & Nina Koren-Karie (1991): ‘Primary Appraisal of the Strange Situation: a Cross-Cultural Analysis of Preseparation Episodes’ in  Developmental Psychology 27/4 Sahlins, Marshall (1997): ‘The Original Affluent Society’ in Majid Rahnema, Victoria Bawtree (eds): ‘The Post Development Reader’ (Zed Books, London) Sainsbury, Brendan & Luke Waterson (2015): ‘Cuba’ (8th edition, Lonely Planet Publications, London) Samuel, William (1981): ‘Personality: searching for the Sources of Human Behaviour’ (International Student Edition, McGraw-Hill, London) Sánchez-Villegas, Almudena, Javier Schlatter, Felipe Ortuño, Francisca Lahortiga, Jorge Pla, Silvia Benito, Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez (2008): ‘Validity of a Self-Reported Diagnosis of… Read More

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Abu Ghraib, Auschwitz and Mumbai

It is, of course, decidedly early to pronounce on just who is behind the terrorist attacks in Mumbai; but it is almost certainly radical Islamists of one persuasion or another. One senior Indian military officer has claimed that the attackers came from Pakistan – yet one of the gunmen in the Oberoi Trident Hotel managed to get hooked up to a TV channel and told them he was from the ‘Deccan Mujahedeen’, a (previously-unknown) group of Indian Muslim extremists.  Given the marginally-improved state of the usually-hostile/often-verging-on-war relations between India and Pakistan, one might almost be forgiven for hoping it was an internal Indian operation that could not so easily be a catalyst for open military confrontation between the two nuclear powers. However, in light of the Hindu orgies of violence against Muslim communities which have followed previous Islamist terrorist incidents on Indian soil, thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths might prove equally unpalatable.   Where ever the attackers originated from, few will be surprised if they didn’t have at least tacit assistance from radicals in Pakistan. And few will surprised, given the sophisticated level of organisation in the Mumbai attacks, if the hand of al-Qaeda isn’t to be found somewhere in the pulling of the strings.   What… Read More

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Tribal War in South Ossetia

As the Russian-Georgian conflict in South Ossetia inches towards a volatile, dangerous and perhaps quite short-lived peace, it is a good time for those who would intervene – ‘soft cops’ like France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and ‘hard cops’ such as American Vice President Dick Cheney – to study the nature of such conflicts, how they arise, how they can be managed, hopefully resolved and, better still, prevented. Better informed, their interventions may have a chance of working. With ethnic Russian breakaway forces in Abkhazia equally determined to resist Georgian attempts at reintegration and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pronouncing that Moscow cannot work with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, with both armies bloodied and ready to resume combat at the slightest provocation, with civilian dead estimated in the thousands and the two governments hurling accusations of ethnic cleansing and would-be genocide at each other, there is every potential for an awful lot more lives to be lost in the next few months. At root South Ossetia is a conflict of PURPLE tribalism. The PURPLE vMEME seeks security in belonging; in belonging to some, it demarks itself from others – all too easily leading to prejudice & discrimination against those who are “not… Read More

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