Adam is the Founding Editor of The American Interest and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He served in 2003-05 as principal speechwriter to the Secretary of State (S/P, Policy Planning). Adam's most recent book is Jewcentricity: How the Jews Get Praised, Blamed and Used to Explain Nearly Everything (Wiley, 2009). His Telltale Hearts: The Origin and Impact of the Vietnam Antiwar Movement (St. Martin’s) was named a “notable book of the year” (1995) in the New York Times Book Review.
Fear is politically fungible, able to migrate stealthily from one cause to others, and from one host to others. Fear can also pool or coalesce around shocking experiences. These gymnastic capacities are what give terrorism its social and, ultimately, its political punch.
The forms of social authority capable of motivating individuals to engage in acts of violence and terror are not constant across all societies. Differing social structures, as well as different cultures associated with them, affect which modes of persuasion and manipulation work best to generate the worst sorts of behavior.