Chatter: Pandemics and Political Violence with Brian Michael Jenkins

David Priess, Brian Michael Jenkins
Thursday, December 1, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

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

David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Brian Michael Jenkins is a senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation. He formerly served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND.

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