SHEEHAN: Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence

Posted in 9-11, afghanistan, analysis, CIA, counterterrorism, databases, deterrence, evidence-based, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, fundamentalism, global, homicidality scale, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, iran, irgc, ISIS, killing, martyrdom operations, media, MI6, middle east, military, murder, policy, politics, preemptive, research, scholarly, security studies, sheehan, social science, state department, suicide, suicide attacks, suicide missions, suicide terrorism, tehran, terrorism, threat, war, weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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SHEEHAN: Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has published a new peer-reviewed study titled Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence in the journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience.

The literature on suicide terrorism, the most lethal form of terrorist violence, is largely dominated by the fields of Political Science and International Relations where the prevailing wisdom is that suicide terrorists are without mental illness. Individuals who commit acts of suicide terrorism are believed to do so for religious, cultural, strategic, political, or sociological reasons, or because they are driven by hopelessness, revenge, love, hate, despair, or a desire for attention. Whether suicide terrorists suffer from psychopathology, exhibit clinical signs of suicidality/ homicidality, or are otherwise without mental illness and motivated by purely strategic, religious, or political agendas, however, is a matter of contention. Knowing whether suicide terrorists are in fact suicidal has policy implications for prevention, rehabilitation, and the “softer” side of counterterrorism designed to win hearts and minds. This study examines the history of suicide terrorism and the theoretical arguments, as well as empirical evidence, for and against the possibility that suicide terrorists may be suicidal with the goal of placing these arguments in the context of a broader range of explanations for suicide violence. The paper also highlights the need for more systematic data collection using structured diagnostic tools to accurately frame the problem of suicide violence.

#PDF – Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

#WEB – Are Suicide Terrorists Suicidal? A Critical Assessment of the Evidence | Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience | Sept-Oct 2014

Sheehan Homicidality Tracking Scale (S-HTS) - Dec 14 Updates

Dr. Sheehan is scheduled to present at several international conferences in 2015. For additional research or media related updates and to learn more, follow Dr. Sheehan on Twitter @ProfSheehan

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Sheehan to Speak at 2015 Middle East Dialogue

Posted in 9-11, afghanistan, analysis, arak, ashraf, baghdad, bioterrorism, chemical weapons, CIA, congress, counterterrorism, data, databases, democracy, digest of middle east studies, dissident, DOMES, education, evidence-based, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, fundamentalism, global, homicidality scale, IAEA, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, international studies association, iran, iraq, irgc, ISA, ISIS, kerry, killing, media, MEK, MI6, middle east, middle east dialogue, murder, NCRI, New Orleans, nuclear, P5+1, paris, peace, PMOI, policy, policy studies organization, politics, protest, regime change, regime change from within, research, rouhani, sanctions, scholarly, sectarian conflict, security studies, senate, senate foreign relations committee, sheehan, shiite, social science, state department, strike, suicide terrorism, sunni, syria, teaching, tehran, terror tagging, terrorism, threat, u.s. foundation for liberty, unrest, war, weapons, westphalia press, white house with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has been invited to speak at the 2015 Middle East Dialogue, a conference hosted by the Policy Studies Organization on February 26, 2015. The annual meeting — held at the historic Whittemore House in Washington, D.C. — attracts academics, analysts, and government officials with an interest in policy issues impacting the Middle East.

Dr. Sheehan’s presentation – “Suicide Terrorism: Competing Explanations and Policy Implications for the Middle East” – will feature the results of his forthcoming study in a special issue of the journal Clinical Innovations in Neuroscience (“Suicide Terrorism: A Critical Assessment of the Evidence”). The presentation will challenge the conventional thinking on suicide terrorism in the Political Science and International Relations literatures by examining the theoretical and empirical evidence for and against the possibility that suicide terrorists may suffer from psychopathology.

This is Dr. Sheehan’s third time presenting at the Middle East Dialogue (2013, 2014, 2015). He has also twice published in the peer-reviewed journal Digest of Middle East Studies (2013, 2014) and also in a Policy Studies Organization edited volume (2014).

In February 2015, Dr. Sheehan is also scheduled to speak at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in New Orleans where he will discuss his latest study on regime change in Iran, as well as serve as a chair and discussant for other panels related to his scholarship.

Stay tuned for updates and follow Dr. Sheehan on Twitter @ProfSheehan

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Sustainable Development Summit

Posted in baltimore, college of public affairs, conflict resolution, cwbi, development, education, jeffrey d. sachs, martin o'malley, maryland, policy, politics, scholarly, sheehan, teaching, university of baltimore, unsdsn with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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On October 30 and 31, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan hosted world-renowned Columbia University Professor of Economics Jeffrey D. Sachs at the University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs. Professor Sachs, the author of three New York Times bestsellers and twice named to Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world, discussed an initiative to promote sustainable ‎development in Baltimore in advance of the United Nation’s adoption of global sustainable development goals in 2015.

Special thanks goes to Mr. Johnny J. Mack (President) and Dr. Maneshka Eliatamby (Senior Vice President) of Communities Without Boundaries International (CWBI) who, along with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), facilitated a series of discussions that involved civil society leaders, academics, students, grassroots activists, and individuals from the private sector.

The summit also involved a meeting with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as well as discussions with representatives from the Baltimore City Council. Followup meetings with government officials, academics, and community leaders are currently being planned.

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SHEEHAN: What Is “Regime Change From Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran | Digest of Middle East Studies | Oct 14

Posted in analysis, arak, ashraf, assad, baghdad, ballistic missiles, camp liberty, CIA, civil unrest, clinton, college of public affairs, congress, council on foreign relations, counterterrorism, covert, crimes against humanity, data, debate, delisting, democracy, deterrence, digest of middle east studies, diplomacy, dissident, DOMES, education, european union, evidence-based, farsi, fordow, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, framing, freedom, fundamentalism, geneva, global, haider al-abadi, hostages, human rights, human security, IAEA, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, international studies association, iran, iran policy committee, iraq, irgc, ISA, ISIS, israel, kerry, kurd, maliki, media, MEK, MI6, middle east, middle east dialogue, military, mossad, natanz, NCRI, negotiation, netanyahu, nuclear, obama, P5+1, paris, PMOI, policy, policy studies organization, politics, preemptive, prof. ali ansari, prof. raymond tanter, protest, qum, quoted, rajavi, regime change, regime change from within, research, rouhani, sanctions, scholarly, sectarian conflict, security studies, senate, senate foreign relations committee, sheehan, shiite, social science, state department, strike, sunni, syria, tanter, tehran, terror tagging, terrorism, the hill, think-tank, threat, turkey, u.s. foundation for liberty, university of baltimore, unrest, war, weapons, white house, wocmes, zarif with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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SHEEHAN: What Is “Regime Change From Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran | Digest of Middle East Studies | Fall 2014 | Vol. 23, Issue 2

Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES); Copyright © Wiley / Policy Studies Organization; Fall 2014; Vol. 23, Issue 2; Pgs. 385-403

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is published in the fall 2014 issue of the Digest of Middle East Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Policy Studies Organization. Dr. Sheehan’s latest study — What Is “Regime Change From Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran — clarifies the contested concept of regime change from within via Tehran’s organized opposition and makes contributions to the concept’s formation to increase its policy relevance and classificatory significance.

Abstract: The use of the phrase “regime change from within” has surged in recent years in media, policy, and opposition discourse, especially in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But what does “regime change from within” actually mean? Is it just a script to encourage the aspirations of a people, or can it be defined with more specificity? This article argues that to be of value as a concept and the basis for articulate policy, “regime change from within” needs to be better defined. To bring greater clarity to the term, the article tries to unpack the concept by disaggregating it into three analytically separable problem components: the “regime,” “change,” and “from within.” Drawing on the case of Iran, I argue that although most of the current debate around the concept is on the “from within” component, the definitional choices that need more discussion are the “regime” and “change” aspects of the phrase.

Excerpt | What Is “Regime Change From Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran | Digest of Middle East Studies | F.14 | Vol. 23, Issue 2 -

[The concept of] ‘regime change from within’ has been employed for an array of very disparate processes — as a holder for democracy promotion efforts from outside a country as well as indigenous efforts that exclude outside intervention, to highlight the need for radical change and more vaguely to call for continuous reform. But to be of value as a concept and the basis for articulate policy, a term needs to have some degree of specificity of meaning, some shared consensus. Otherwise, it just becomes a proverbial “you know it when you see it” concept that is difficult to distinguish from other types of political phenomena.

To address this gap and bring greater clarity to the concept, this article looks at some of the definitional choices that need to be addressed to come to a consensus on the meaning of “regime change from within.” Using the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I show how different decisions about what constitutes “regime change from within” could lead to very different conceptualizations in empirical cases…

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Sheehan to Speak at International Studies Association Conferences in 2014 & 2015

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Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has been invited to speak at several international meetings organized by the International Studies Association in 2014 and 2015. In addition to delivering papers, Dr. Sheehan has also been asked to serve as a chair and discussant for panels on a range of topics related to his research.

2015 International Studies Association 56th Annual Convention
Global IR & Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for Int’l Studies
New Orleans, Louisiana / #PDF
February 18th – 21st, 2015

  • International Studies Association’s 56th Annual Convention, Global IR and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies. “What is “Regime Change from Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran.” At Panel on “Vying for regional supremacy in the Middle East: Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” New Orleans, Louisiana. February 18-21, 2015.
  • Chair, International Studies Association’s 56th Annual Convention, Global IR and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies. At Panel on “Networks, violence and non-state actors,” New Orleans, Louisiana. February 18-21, 2015.
  • Discussant, International Studies Association’s 56th Annual Convention, Global IR and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies. At Panel on “Effective Counterterrorism Strategies: Causes, Connections, and Innovations,” New Orleans, Louisiana. February 18-21, 2015.

2014 International Studies Association Northeast Annual Conference
Concept & Conceptualization in International Relations
Baltimore, Maryland / #PDF
November 7th – 8th, 2014

  • International Studies Association (Northeast Regional Meeting), At Panel on Conflict and Healing. “Untangling the Concept of Regime Change from Within,” Baltimore, MD, November 7-8, 2014.
  • Chair/ Discussant, International Studies Association (Northeast Regional Meeting), At Panel on Terrorism, September 15, 2014, Baltimore, MD, November 7-8, 2014.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

Posted in analysis, ankara, arak, ashraf, assad, baghdad, ballistic missiles, bioterrorism, bipartisan, bloomberg, BloombergTV, brussels, camp liberty, chemical weapons, CIA, civil unrest, clinton, college of public affairs, congress, counterterrorism, covert, crimes against humanity, delisting, democracy, deterrence, diplomacy, dissident, european union, farsi, fordow, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, freedom, fundamentalism, geneva, global, haider al-abadi, hostages, human rights, human security, IAEA, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, interview, iran, iraq, irgc, ISIS, israel, kerry, killing, kurd, maliki, media, MEK, metu, MI6, middle east, military, mossad, natanz, NCRI, negotiation, netanyahu, nuclear, obama, P5+1, paris, peace, PMOI, policy, politics, preemptive, protest, putin, qum, quoted, rajavi, regime change, republican, research, rouhani, sanctions, scholarly, sectarian conflict, security studies, senate, senate foreign relations committee, sheehan, shiite, state department, strike, sunni, syria, tanter, teaching, tehran, terror tagging, terrorism, the hill, threat, turkey, u.s. foundation for liberty, ukraine, uncategorized, university of baltimore, unrest, war, weapons, white house, wocmes, zarif with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

Press Release -- International Affairs Professor: U.S. Must Keep an Eye on Iran

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SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

While presenting at the World Congress of Middle East Studies in Turkey on August 19, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan published an article in the congressional newspaper The Hill on Iraq, Iran, ISIS and the growing unrest on the Iraqi street. In the article, he questioned whether White House officials have a plan to counter the larger threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“…U.S. policy on Iran must ensure significant consequence for continued Iranian interference in Iraq. The failure to act against Assad by enforcing the red line in Syria or push back on Putin’s adventures in Ukraine diminished U.S. credibility and squandered valuable influence. But Congress can correct these missteps by insisting that the White House lean in on Iran by giving the ayatollahs a new problem to keep them busy.

Since Tehran fears internal threats more than external ones, U.S. legislators should embrace a policy of regime change from within via Iran’s organized opposition.

Obama’s declaration that there is no military solution to Iraq’s troubles and that a legitimate Iraqi government must be established is an accurate diagnosis insofar as it goes. But the intoxication resulting from a combination of U.S. impotence, Iranian interference, and Iraqi frustration will only lead to continued regional instability.

Solving the Iraq puzzle requires that U.S. officials double down on the real threat in the Middle East and increase the prospect of collapse in Tehran.” #PDF

You can learn more about Dr. Sheehan’s recent media appearances in a University of Baltimore press release.

Please also stay tuned for forthcoming publications in fall 2014 on topics related to regime change in Iran and suicide terrorism.

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Sheehan Interviewed on Bloomberg Television

Posted in analysis, arak, ashraf, assad, baghdad, ballistic missiles, bipartisan, bloomberg, brussels, CIA, college of public affairs, congress, counterterrorism, covert, crimes against humanity, delisting, democracy, deterrence, diplomacy, dissident, european union, fordow, foreign policy, foreign policy analysis, freedom, global, hostages, human rights, human security, IAEA, intelligence, international relations, international security studies, interview, iran, iraq, ISIS, israel, kerry, killing, maliki, media, MEK, MI6, middle east, military, mossad, natanz, NCRI, negotiation, netanyahu, nuclear, obama, P5+1, paris, PMOI, policy, politics, preemptive, protest, qum, rajavi, regime change, sanctions, security studies, senate, senate foreign relations committee, sheehan, state department, strike, syria, tehran, terror tagging, terrorism, u.s. foundation for liberty, university of baltimore, unrest, war, weapons, white house, zarif on August 13, 2014 by Professor Sheehan

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WATCH @Islamic State vs. Iran: Which Threat Is Bigger? / Bloomberg TV / August 13, 2014

University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan and the Heritage Foundation’s Steven Bucci discuss the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and Iran’s influence in the country live on Bloomberg Television on August 13, 2014.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s departure is a very positive development for Iraq and represents an opportunity for the creation of a more inclusive, truly representative government in Baghdad.

–Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan

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