Scott Atran: Analysing the limits of rational choice in political and cultural conflict

What motivates young people to join violent extremist movements such as ISIS? Scott Atran, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford, shares research on the differences between the “value-driven decision-making” of “devoted actors” and the “economic decision-making” of “rational actors”, and argues that offering people material incentives to abandon their sacred values is counter-productive.

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