Publication:
Al Qaeda as a charismatic phenomenon

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Authors
Singh, Dushyant.
Subjects
Advisors
Roberts, Nancy
Date of Issue
2009-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
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Abstract
The study establishes that the presence of charismatic effect in terrorist or insurgent groups tends to make them more violent. Bradley's theory forms the backbone of the study; it focuses on identifying a charismatic effect in a group, measuring the level of the charismatic effect, and analyzing how the dimensions of the effect relate to the survivability or viability of the led groups. The theory envisages that endogenous interaction between two relational elements in a social group, "flux or communion" and "control or power structure" are responsible for the creation and sustenance of charismatic effect. The theory also discovers that an imbalance in the presence of flux and control leads to charismatic instability. Based on theoretical dimensions, as well as an exploratory analytic technique involving quantitative ratings, the study has estimated Al Qaeda's systemic state on two key theoretical variables and has suggested possible counter-strategies to negate the undesirable effects of charisma in Al Qaeda. The study concludes that there is a strong presence of charismatic effect in Al Qaeda and suggests that by manipulating the level of the flux and control of Al Qaeda, we may be able to reduce its ability to cause violence or disruption.
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Thesis
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Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
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Format
xvi, 147 p. : ill. ;
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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