Psychosocial Stress in Immigrants and in Members of Minority Groups as a Factor of Terrorist Behavior deals with the universal phenomenon of immigration in the light of globalization and the double messages of host countries. On the one hand immigration is encouraged and on the other hand the rights and obligations of newcomers in a country are not always clear. Creating a theoretical link between concepts and terms allied to immigration and terrorism is based on worldwide evidence from the last eight years. The aim of the contributions in this publication is to understand more and shed more light on the etiology of terrorism and on what has to be done to prevent it. This book addresses the underlying issues that lead to lethal actions which have led to the loss of the lives of so many innocent people and its mission is to discuss and understand more comprehensively the relationship between immigration and terrorism. Learning more about psychosocial stress in immigrants, who arrive in a new country and have expectations that are not met, will highlight new angles that policy makers have not previously attended to.
This book represents the proceedings of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop entitled: Psychosocial Stress in Immigrants and Members of Minority Groups as a Factor of Terrorist Behavior. The meeting that led to this book was multifaceted. The assembly of experts enabled the discussion of varied attitudes from fresh and frank points of view, never previously brought together in dialogue. The book deals with the universal phenomenon of immigration in the light of globalization and the double messages of host countries, that on one hand encourage immigration and on the other hand have not made up their minds about the rights and obligations of newcomers in a country. Creating a theoretical link between concepts and terms allied to immigration and terrorism is based on my practical evidence from the last 8 years, worldwide. We do hope that the contributions by the participants will lead to more understanding and shed more light on the etiology of terrorism and on what has to be done to prevent it. We hope this will enable us to address the underlying issues that lead to the lethal actions which have led to the loss of the lives of so many innocent people. We are honored and proud to have edited this book.
With the financial support and encouragement of NATO in April 2007, a special group of international authorities in the fields of terrorist behavior and psychosocial stress in immigration and minorities, gathered in Tel Hai, upper Galilee, in Israel. The participants in this meeting included experts from psychology, psychiatry, political science, social science and criminology related to immigration. Our mission was to discuss and understand more comprehensively the relationship between immigration and terrorism. Learning more about psychosocial stress in immigrants, who arrive in a new country and have expectations that are not met, would highlight new angles that policy makers have not previously attended to. In practical terms, we hoped that the discussions might lead towards interventions that will reduce the threat of terrorism.
Immigration has been a channel for individuals to improve their lives by moving to a new country. However in the era of globalization, the consequences of these individual actions at the level of the society and the state can sometimes present problems. What is it that leads a tiny minority of immigrants to become involved in terrorism? Perhaps policy makers in the Western world, which encouraged immigration, could not foresee that the manual workers whom they had welcomed would raise a new, intelligent, sophisticated second generation who were exposed to their parents being humiliated and degraded. Looking at this aspect, research will lead to new understandings and new actions. The paradox about the actualization of economical solutions for immigrants vs. the lack of integration and unexpected rejection in the host country, leads to the growth of a second generation that develops more critical attitudes, sometimes including hostility, anger and alienation towards the host country that opened its gates to the immigrating blue collar workers.
In 2005 I met Prof. Mooli Lahad in his office in Kiryat Shmona, Israel, and we discussed the issue of terrorism. Prof. Lahad who is PhD. Psychology, Human & Life-Science, Tel Hai Academic College and President of the Community Stress Prevention Center is a well known authority on conflict and its human consequences. We agreed that (1) we should investigate whether antisocial behavior in deprived populations of immigrants and minorities, in the western world may stem from psychosocial stress, and (2) we should look for new ways, attitudes and perceptions that may lead to a change in coping with these realities. We realized that combining knowledge between social scientists studying immigration, refugees and minorities, and scientists who study terrorism and criminology, might yield integrated knowledge. Prof. Lahad has been working with NATO and has faith in their open mindedness. It was his suggestion that we apply to NATO to support a meeting that would examine the knowledge about the links between psychosocial stress in immigrants and minorities and terrorism behavior and how this knowledge might pave the way to guide policy makers to improve the situation of immigrants and minorities and reduce the threat of terrorism in partial segments of these populations. The organizers of the workshop are very grateful to Prof Lahad for his suggestion, and to NATO for their agreement to fund the Advanced Research Workshops through the Security Through Science Programme.
Conflicts arise and, no matter what they are about, turn violent if there are no institutions within which they can be conducted by other means. Such unregulated conflicts intensify the process of establishing unambiguous collective identities, which appear to safeguard personal integrity and dignity. This is a precondition of successful terrorism. What are the links between migration and violent conflict? In some cases the connection is obvious, especially when native people in a country with high immigration feel threatened. Among migrants, migration can lead to both relativization and radicalization of ethnic or communal identity. The return to specific traditions to “blood and belief, faith and family” (Huntington) is only one option among others, mostly caused by perceived fraternal relative deprivation (Runciman) of the group they belong to. The escalation toward violence and terrorism among activists is caused by the experience (or imagination) of humiliation and victimization (Montville). “Religion and violence are seen as antidotes to humiliation” (Juergensmeyer). Bloody events confirm – like unquestionable “base sentences” – an overwhelming reality of friend and foe and therefore are decisive for further escalation. Long term prevention therefore should hinder and avoid humiliating and violent events.
The purpose of the present study was to explore the acculturation patterns of immigrants in Greece in relation to their economic and psychological adaptation. The following research questions were examined: How do immigrants adapt to the host culture? How do they deal with the multiple pressures and challenges of “culture shock”? What is the relationship between acculturation strategies and the quality of adjustment? The sample consisted of 601 immigrants (43% women) from 35 nationalities who resided in urban and rural areas in the host country (mean length of stay: 8 years). Results indicated that levels of adaptation varied according to the cultural distance hypothesis, with immigrants from Europe and the Balkans doing better than immigrants from sub-Sahara African and Islamic countries. Most immigrants chose to integrate (46%); 21% assimilated; 25% were separated; and 8% reported an individualistic profile. Acculturation strategies were related to the quality of adaptation, i.e. integration and assimilation yielded the most positive outcomes and separation the most negative. Length of stay in the host country had an indirect effect on adaptation through the acculturation variables. Implications of findings for policy making are discussed.
The objectives of our study were to assess the exposure of three groups of Ethiopian refugees to stressful and traumatic events at three time points: pre-, peri- and post-migration to Israel. The consequences of exposure to cumulative traumatic events such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined at all three time points and in each group. In addition losses during migration and complicated grief were examined in each group. We found significant differences between the groups in exposure and PTSD symptoms. While the three groups did not differ in grief reactions, significant differences were found between those who lost first-degree relatives and those who lost second-degree relatives, in Complicated Grief Reactions. The results are discussed in light of the unique characteristics of the cumulative trauma and traumatic losses among Ethiopian refugees.
The Middle East is a crossroad for three continents and is one of ‘hottest’ zones in the world. Since the early years of the last century, after more than eighty years of conflict and three main wars, the Arabs and the Jews have endured bitter trials and tribulations. As a result of the military conflicts, around one million Palestinians were forced to leave their homes, properties and country, and seek refuge elsewhere. The current article focuses on the situation of the Palestinian community in Jordan - which has taken Jordanian citizenship at the early fifties - from political and economic points of view while discussing security issues. However, since the state as refugees experienced by Palestinians since 1948, and in addition the continual Israeli occupation since 1967, the issue of the refugees did not come to an end. The importance of the Refugee Question is emphasized as one of the major elements of stability in the Middle East. It is argued, that without settling this issue - which cannot be suppressed neither by force nor by neglect - the Middle East would continue to be unstable.
In this article some important issues faced by Poland as a country hosting asylum seekers are pointed out. It also describes factors influencing process of asylum seekers' integration to the hosting society. Peculiarity of the Polish situation is constituted by the nationality of asylum seekers. Since 2000 Russian citizens of Chechen origins have dominated the flow and they constitute approximately 90% of applicants for refugee status. Almost none of them is left without any form of international protection – majority is granted tolerated stay. For majority of Chechens Poland is the first safe country on their route to Western Europe. Therefore they apply for refugee status here but they treat it only as a transfer country.
There are 3 different categories of illegal movement of people across borders - Illegal immigration, human smuggling, and human trafficking - and each of these concepts have quite different legal and political consequences. Poverty and warfare contribute to the rising tide of migration, both legal and illegal. Smuggling and trafficking ‘employs’ millions of people every year, and leads to the annual turnover of billions of dollars. The current study examines the existing situation (with regard to legal and illegal immigration) in the Republic of Moldova. Migration stream coming from Moldova is estimated as 10000 people a month, mainly to Europe, and mostly motivated by poverty. Both negative and positive consequences of the immigration are discussed, with regard to the political, economical and social aspects of the phenomenon.
Minority groups are very common throughout Western society, mainly as a result of massive immigration during the last century. These groups have developed their own identities due to a variety of social factors. Even though ethnic identity plays an important role in evoking many human perceptions, rarely have ethnic identities been analyzed for their effects on attribution of responsibility to terrorism. Drawing on attribution theory, we argue that the way people understand ethnic relations and analyze causal relationships plays a crucial role in their willingness to denounce or support violent acts of terrorism. Members of minority groups tend to approve of terrorism more often than not. Perpetrators who are members of the majority tend to be seen as more detestable. We test these hypotheses using evidence from an original experiment involving 308 adult Israelis (166 Jews and 142 Arabs) conducted in 2005 at the height of the Palestinian uprising. Respondents were randomly assigned to three groups, each of which was presented with a terror attack scenario: a) a Jewish perpetrator; b) a Palestinian perpetrator; c) a neutral perpetrator (Asian). Arabs tended to denounce terrorist acts less than Jews; Jewish perpetrators were perceived to be abhorrent. These findings suggest that ethnic identity plays a crucial role in the way one attributes motivations and values to terrorism.
Europe faces a crisis. A combination of immigration and differential birthrates is rapidly increasing the proportionate Muslim population at the very time when Muslim/non-Muslim relations are globally strained. Double-edged rejection separates these groups, with mutual fear, distrust, negative feelings and even hatred escalating tensions and distress. It is theoretically plausible that violent jihad against the West may be causally linked to these poor inter-group relations. If so, earnest programs to improve those relations would be expected to reduce the risk of political violence. Sixty years of applied social psychology research has suggested specific interventions that measurably reduce prejudice and improve inter-group relations in the short term. However, there is an astonishing gap in our knowledge: we don't know what works to improve relations in the long-term. This paper summarizes the available evidence and proposes an urgent research agenda to find the optimum ways to improve Muslim/non-Muslim relations in Europe.
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