Neil J. Kressel
Neil J. Kressel has been speaking, writing and consulting about extremism, terrorism and genocide for nearly three decades. The author of several books and many articles, he holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in comparative history from Brandeis University. He recently was a Visiting Associate Professor at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University.
About This Web Site
This web site is dedicated to understanding and combating extremism and mass hatred. Drawing on the best work of social scientists, historians, journalists, attorneys, criminologists, human rights activists, and members of the counterterrorism community, the goal here is to provide balanced, multidisciplinary, useful, and non-obvious information. At present, Aboutextremism.com is based largely on the work of Neil J. Kressel. Over time, the web site will expand to include more works written by others with a similar approach.
This blog covers all aspects of extremism, but focuses on religious extremism, terrorism, genocide, and antisemitism. Some topics discussed in the blog include:
- What is religious extremism?
- Why do people participate in genocide and other mass atrocities?
- Does terrorist profiling work? Can pathways to radicalization and terrorism be profiled?
- Does Islam contribute to the terrorism that – in recent years – has often been practiced in its name?
- When does hostility toward Israel cross the line into antisemitism?
- How dangerous is Muslim antisemitism? What are its causes?
- Is Holocaust education effective?
- What have social scientists contributed to the struggle against extremist violence? How might the contributions of social scientists be rendered more useful?
- How can effective counterterrorism be reconciled with the legal traditions of Western democracies?
"Kressel’s work could not be more timely. It has the advantage of taking religious movements with thoughtful seriousness and making vital distinctions clear. It is also written in a lucid and readable style."
- Harvey Cox,
"Kressel has a jeweler’s eye for deflating grandiose conjecture, especially when tainted by ideology... On Nazi Germany he is especially strong... This book is a superb review of the literature on mass hate..."
- The Washington Post:
"a welcome addition... Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates."
- Choice Magazine