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Attitudes Towards Terrorism Within Muslim Nations

Karl Kaltenthaler, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science, Director-Center for Policy Studies, University of Akron

Friday September 21, 2007
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Inamori Center
Room 9 Crawford Hall

Dear Colleagues:

If guerillas are like fish in the water of a population, then some ponds Karl Kaltenthaler, Ph.D.are likely to be more supportive than others. Logically, the same should be true of any political behavior, including the willingness to terrorize civilians or to do so while intentionally sacrificing one's own life. The extent of such behavior will depend in part on the extent to which it is regarded positively within a population. Clearly it does not require majority support; but, just as clearly, it should be less likely (or sustainable) if it is met with massive and active disapproval.

What, then, is the relationship between Jihadi'ist terrorism and attitudes among the populations that the Jihadists claim to represent and seek to lead? Various ideologues and interested parties, from clash-of-civilization theorists to advocates of each side in the Arab-Israeli conflict, will make claims. None should be believed without both data and very careful analysis of both the data and its limits.

Karl Kaltenthaler is currently doing that kind of analysis. Dr. Kaltenthaler, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Policy Studies at the University of Akron, also is Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science at Case, and taught Western European Politics for us last year. He is the author of two books and numerous journal articles. In a recent conference paper, he and a colleague used data from the 2005 Pew Foundation Global Attitudes Survey and the 2007 World Public Opinion Muslim Public Opinion on U.S. Policy, Attacks on Civilians, and al Qaeda Survey to focus on attitudes within Pakistan. At our Friday Lunch discussion on September 21, Dr. Kaltenthaler will discuss both that research and the general issue. It should be a lively and informative discussion.

The remainder of this e-mail reports what we know about the schedule for the rest of the semester. We will be sending out announcements each week. If you would prefer not to receive the announcements, please inform Dr. Andrew Lucker, Associate Director of the Center for Policy Studies, by e-mail (

About Our Guest

Karl Kaltenthaler teaches and researches in the area of comparative politics. His research focuses on political economy and mass behavior across countries. His publications include journal articles on the political economy of European integration, central bank decision-making, the political sources of economic outcomes, and public attitudes toward a range of economic policies. He has published two books thus far, The Domestic Politics of German Unification (1998), which he co-edited, and Germany and the Politics of Europe’s Money. His latest book is a study of the politics of policy-making in the European Central Bank. He is also engaged in a long-range research agenda focusing on variations in public attitudes toward terrorism around the world.

Friday Lunch and Other Public Affairs Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

Sept 28: The Roberts Court. Jonathan Adler, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation; and Jonathan Entin, Professor of Law and Political Science

Oct 5: Women in Corporate Leadership. Diana Bilimoria, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior.

Oct 12: Clean, Lean and Green? The Great Lakes Institute for Energy Research at Case Western Reserve University. J. Iwan D. Alexander, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director, National Center for Space Exploration and Research; and Norman Tien, Dean, Case School of Engineering.

Oct 19: The Peanut Allergy Puzzles. Dr. Alton Melton, Section Head, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Other Friday Lunch topics and speakers TBA.

Also coming to campus:

October 25, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., Ford Auditorium. Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University (and Dean of Graduate Studies 2005-2007). A former President of both the American Political Science Association and of the Social Science History Association, among many other contributions, Dr. Skocpol is one of the most distinguished political scientists in the country.

November 12, 4:15 - 5:45 p.m., Ford Auditorium. Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, will speak on "The Invisible Primary: Money, Media and Polls in the 2008 Presidential Race."

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

September 17, 2007

A weekly newsletter published by the Center for Policy Studies, Case Western Reserve University. If you would like to not receive this weekly e-mail or you would like to submit items for inclusion please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Third Annual Constitution Day Forum: Religion and the Constitution

Monday September 17, 2007
4:30 p.m.6:00 p.m.
Ford Auditorium,
Allen Medical Library
Adelbert and Euclid Avenue
Case Western Reserve University

One of the most widely-disputed issues about the American Constitution involves the relationship it might create between church and state.  In the world of the late 18th century, this was normally viewed as involving the relationship between distinct secular and religious institutions, particularly whether any individual church would be "established" with the support of the state.  In the United States of the 21st century, it involves a host of controversies involving public policy and public displays of religious belief.  Those controversies are debated within a context in which religious beliefs and intensity of religious practice are widely described as one of the divisions driving American partisan politics.

For Constitution Day, 2007, faculty of Case Western Reserve University's School of Law and Department of Political Science will address issues of religion and the Constitution.  Joseph White, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy, will talk about the boundaries of the issue: how religious beliefs have always been central to American politics and religious institutions are currently part of public policy, regardless of the questions that might be raised about what the First Amendment allows or requires.  Then George W. Dent Jr., the Schott - van den Eyden Professor of Law, and Gary J. Simson, the Joseph C. Hostetler - Baker & Hostetler Professor and Dean of the School of Law, will address issues of constitutional interpretation, including the effects of the First Amendment prohibition that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

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