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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Implicit Orders, Explicit Violence,” with Kurt Braddock, assistant professor of communications, fellow at the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, and author of Weaponized Words: The Strategic Role of Persuasion in Violent Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization.
[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]
When Donald Trump told an extremist group to “stand back and stand by,” or U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar posting an animated video of him decapitating a political opponent, they were using a relatively new kind of political communications strategy: implicit support for the use of violence against political enemies.
Increasingly common over the past five years and coming mainly from politicians and pundits on the far right at a time when America’s political climate has become more politicized and aggressive, implied support for political violence goes beyond the sort of spirited debate and disagreement that American democracy was founded upon. Does it represent just another form of political speech protected under the First Amendment, or does it pose a real danger? If the latter, what should be done about it?
Come hear such questions tackled by Dr. Kurt Braddock, who has conducted research on communication and terrorism for several national and international organizations, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State, Public Safety Canada, the U.K. Home Office, and the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism.
Professor Braddock will give us a firm grounding in the concept of “stochastic terrorism,” or political violence spawned by vague calls to violent action. Tapping into decades of research on communication and decision-making and accounts of specific violent acts inspired by implicit orders, he’ll show us that the threat posed by implicit calls to violence is real. Finally, he’ll discuss how we can fight the violence motivated by these statements while maintaining the sacrosanctity of the First Amendment.
With the threat of new political violence looming on the horizon even as Congressional hearings on the events of January 6, 2021 remain underway, his talk promises to give you a much more sophisticated understanding of recent events and a clearer sense of what might lie ahead for our nation. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)