Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’


Frank Selden on the Military, Suicide, and Faith

Frank Selden, a Seattle-area attorney and author, joins us for a very personal and impactful discussion on his service in the military, his various suicide attempts, his faith, and how religious faith has approached the topic of suicide over the years. We learn how his views towards the Iraq War changed over two tours of duties, how he emerged from a suicidal spiral, and his perspective on religious faith today.

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David Patel on Religion & Social Order in Iraq

Why have women in the Middle East resorted to more conservative forms of dress in recent decades? And what happens when social order breaks down in Iraq following the US invasion in 2003? These two questions, along with an analysis of the rise of ISIS, are answered by Dr. David Patel of Brandeis University. He connects these threads via a political economy approach to religious institutions and behavior by showing how signaling and common knowledge are important in coordinating society, and how religious leaders may play a role in enhancing such coordination. David explains how and why Shiites were more successful in building social networks in Iraq following the collapse of the Hussein regime as compared to their Sunni counterparts, and what ISIS has been doing in recent years to account for its success.

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Denis Dragovic on Religion & State-Building

What role do religious organizations play in constructing and reconstructing states? Denis Dragovic joins us from Australia to discuss his new book “Religion and Post-Conflict State-Building” and how he not only studied this topic, but also was an active participant in helping people around the world, and primarily the Middle East. Prof. Dragovic explains how religious groups — both international and domestic — help to contribute to the three key areas of state-building: legitimacy, security, and basic needs. Along the way, he also recounts how he helped rescue one of his aid workers who was kidnapped by rebels!

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Sean Everton on Religion & Dark Networks (Encore Presentation)

Spring break is upon us, and while many of you are heading to the sunshine, we revive a popular interview from our archives on dark networks. We will return shortly with new episodes.

Dark networks are clandestine organizations that often engage in nefarious behavior. Often associated with religious terrorist groups, these dark networks are the focus of our discussion with Prof. Sean Everton of the Naval Postgraduate School. He covers the nature of these groups, how we learn about them via network analysis, and how counter-insurgency efforts are being crafted to disrupt these networks in places like Colombia, Indonesia, and Iraq.

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Robert Kinnune on Military Chaplains

In this special episode in honor of Memorial Day in the United States, we talk with Major Robert Kinnune, an Army chaplain stationed at Joint Base Lewis McCord in Washington State. His discusses his career path in the military, bringing him to a decions 12 years into being an engineer to become a military chaplain. We review what his day was like leading up to this nighttime interview and cover the particular challenges of being a military chaplain throughout the “life cycle” of a soldier — from basic training (boot camp) to retirement. A nice episode to garner a greater appreciation for those who serve in the armed forces.

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Sean Everton on Dark Networks

Dark networks are clandestine organizations that often engage in nefarious behavior. Often associated with religious terrorist groups, these dark networks are the focus of our discussion with Prof. Sean Everton of the Naval Postgraduate School. He covers the nature of these groups, how we learn about them via network analysis, and how counter-insurgency efforts are being crafted to disrupt these networks in places like Colombia, Indonesia, and Iraq.

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