In this first instalment of a two-part series on Social Movements, Extremism and Violence, Irm Haleem explains social movements by situating them in our common human fears (of negation) and desires (for recognition) and by examining them through the prism of social movement theory. This webinar is organized in four sections. Section One outlines the critical relationship between contentious politics (CP) and social movements (SM) by sketching the similarities and differences between the two and the significance of understanding these distinctions. In so doing, Haleem outlines some of the popular misunderstandings related to social movements and the consequences of such misunderstandings that come in the form of misdiagnosing protests, riots, violence, and insurrections. Section Two examines social movements in more detail, outlining their complexities and dynamics. Section Three outlines the relationship between social movements and recognition struggles and the meaning and significance of this relationship to our understanding of social movements. And finally, Section Four discusses the peculiarities of violent social movements that manifest themselves in the forms of political extremism, terrorism, and even revolution, with references to historical and contemporary examples.
Irm Haleem is an Assistant Professor in the Strategic Studies programme at S. Rajaratnam School of International Affairs, Nanyang Technological University. Her research and publications are interdisciplinary, focusing primarily on Political Philosophy (notions of freedom), but also on normative Philosophy (ethics) and Sociology (social movement theory). Irm Haleem is the author of the book The Essence of Islamist Extremism: Recognition through Violence, Freedom through Death (Routledge 2012; paperback 2014), and the editor and contributing author of the book Normalization of Violence: Conceptual Analysis and Reflections from Asia (Routledge 2020). She is currently finishing another single-authored book, Contradictions of Freedom, which is under contract with Routledge for its Political Philosophy collection and is expected to be published in 2022. Irm Haleem is a recipient of a research grant funded by US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) in Tokyo (2015-2016), and an invited TEDx speaker at TEDxNTU-2017, where she spoke on ‘Love, Hope, and Human Agency’. In addition to Nanyang Technological University, Haleem has taught at three different American universities: Northeastern University, Seton Hall University, and Princeton University.