Plagues periodically exact a heavy toll on human life–and much more. They devastate economies, exacerbate social disorder, shock governance systems, provide fodder for political violence, and interact in surprising ways with terrorism.
In this conversation, David Priess and longtime RAND Corporation terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins talk about the long nature of pandemics, the history of public resistance to efforts to protect public health, links between plagues and social unrest, how the concept of comorbidity applies to the effects of pandemics, the relationship between plagues and political violence, the challenges of rumors and rapid communication, the threat of biological terrorism, and pragmatic ways to counter domestic political violence.
Among the works mentioned in this episode:
The book Plagues and Their Aftermath by Brian Michael Jenkins
The short story “The Stolen Bacillus” by H.G. Wells
Brian Michael Jenkins’s article, “Elements of a Pragmatic Strategy to Counter Domestic Political Violence,” in the CTC Sentinel (October 2022)
The book The True Believer by Eric Hoffer
The book The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton