The Growth of Extremism and the Factor of “Intellectual Parity”

A Paper by Gagik Harutyunyan, Executive Director, Noravank Scientific Educational Foundation, submitted for the Rhodes Forum Scientific Marathon - 2015

The global security today depends to a large extent on the developments in Middle East in the context of the Islamic State’s (IS) actions. However, the IS is just the tip of the iceberg; the Middle Eastern processes are closely related to what happens in Central and Southeast Asia and continental “yellow, hot Africa.” In addition, escalation due to actions of extremist groups occurs not only in these regions. In terms of a number of indicators the same logic applies to the events in Ukraine. It is no coincidence that the “Right Sector” combatants call themselves “Christian Taliban”, let alone numerous instances of collaboration between Ukrainian and Islamic extremists from some regions of Russia and CIS. The potential of extremism accumulates also in EU countries, so far in somewhat latent form. After a long period of tranquility, racial-based clashes resurged in the USA. There is an impression that a wave of extremism is engulfing the entire global space and there is every reason to believe that this phenomenon is a key sociopolitical trend.

Some analysts correlate these developments with the painful emergence of multipolar world, which occurs in the mode of a “Cold War 2”. A re-division of spheres of influence is accompanied by geopolitical shifts. At the same time, connecting the developments to geopolitics only is somewhat problematic, too.

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