Monday, April 4, 2016

The Clash of Specializations

Thanks to my fellow blogger Arun Kapil, who alerted me to this update of the ongoing war between Olivier Roy and Gilles Kepel. I find this episode particularly distressing, because I have learned from both scholars and think that to be asked to choose between two incomplete and inadequate formulations--l'islamisation de la radicalité ou la radicalisation de l'Islam--is not likely to contribute to our understanding of homegrown terrorism. Kepel seems to be the aggressor here, and in addition to Roy he has also attacked Jean-Pierre Filiu, another respected scholar from whom I have also learned. This clash of specializations is as unseemly as it is un-enlightening, and with Jean-Claude Guillebaud I wish that the scholars involved would try to formulate their disagreements not as sound bites but in phrases better suited to exploring the underlying issues.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Filiu got it all wrong from the beginning. I wonder how one can learn something from him...

I agree with the rest. Looks like a civil war among the intellectuals that we certainly don't need right now.

bernard said...

Feuds among academics have always been a feature of the landscape in France, think Aron and Sartre to quote obvious celebs.

In the present case and naturally wholly without supporting evidence in my hands, let me make the following hypothesis. While there likely was no consulting money to speak of in the eighties, there must be some consulting money - not much, Europe being what it is, but some - these days. As an economist, like cops, my view is that following the money trail usually pays off.

Edouard said...

See also:

http://www.liberation.fr/debats/2016/03/24/de-la-rage-sans-espoir-au-martyre-penser-la-complexite-du-jihadisme_1441825