Warning: This article may offend sensibilities because it deals with jihadist norm entrepreneurship. Obviously, this is a fantasy teaching case to make a point.
What is norm entrepreneurship?
A small literature has emerged on norm entrepreneurship. Norm entrepreneurs seek to change social norms. If they are successful, they can cause ‘norm bandwagons’ and ‘norm cascades’. Norm entrepreneurs are the central actors during the first stage in the life cycle of a norm, the norm emergence. Just think of Princess Diana’s campaign to eliminate landmines. Or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaigns to overthrow racial oppression in America. [i]
Ibrahim al-Badr was studying religion and education at the University of Baghdad when he had a brilliant idea. He had been reading about how norm entrepreneurs are necessary precursors to revolutionary change. He had been particularly impressed with a noted Stanford University psychology professor who said that “human beings are capable of totally abandoning their humanity for a mindless ideology, to follow and then exceed the orders of charismatic authorities to destroy everyone they label as “the enemy”. Ibrahim wanted to become that charismatic authority.… Read the rest