How ISIS changed the world again

How ISIS changed the world again

Event details

SDSC Public Lecture

Date & time

Monday 22 February 2016


Common Room, University House (1), Balmain Crescent, ANU


Professor Robert Pape


Kerrie Hogan

In this public lecture Robert Pape will explain the rise of ISIS, its goals, targeting logic, and the group's recent shift to spectacular attacks in the context of the global environment of suicide terrorism in the last 30 years.

Over the past half year we have seen a dramatic shift in the targeting patterns employed by ISIS. Moving form a focus on Iraq and Syria, ISIS has carried out complex attacks in Ankara, Beirut, over the Sinai, and Paris. A look at the data from our Suicide Attack Database, also shows that suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria declined substantially in the fall of 2015.
What explains this change? The answer can be found in Iraq and Syria. There, since September 2014, ISIS has lost significant territory and faces the near term prospect of losing to a multi-prong offensive by the international coalition that could decisively cripple the terrorist group.
What are the reasons for this and how are they connected to foreign occupation, the main driver of suicide terrorism? What is an effective strategy for the West to follow in taking the fight to the Islamic state and will it be possible anti-ISIS coalition members to prevent future Paris-Style attacks?

Robert Pape is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST). Before coming to Chicago in 1999, he taught international relations at Dartmouth College and air power strategy for the USAF's School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and his BA from the University of Pittsburgh. His most recent book is "Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It."


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