Dr Simon Cottee is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Kent and a Contributing Writer to The Atlantic.
The theatre of terror
Black Flags of the Caribbean
'The Caribbean does not immediately come to mind when we think about ISIS and yet, in 2017, Trinidad and Tobago ranked first place in the list of western countries with the highest rates of foreign-fighter radicalization, with over 240 nationals travelling to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS caliphate. Simon Cottee investigates how ISIS came to gain such an unlikely, yet significant foothold in Trinidad.'
‘Easily the most original book on the ISIS phenomenon to date. A riveting detective story with deep insights on human behavior, this is social science at its best." --Thomas Hegghammer, Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and the author of The Caravan: Abdallah Azzam and the Rise of Global Jihad (2020)
ISIS and the Pornography of Violence
'ISIS and the Pornography of Violence' is a collection of iconoclastic essays on ISIS, spanning the four-year period from its ascendancy in late 2014 to its demise in early 2018. From a trenchant critique of the infantilisation of jihadists to a probing examination of the parallels between gonzo porn and ISIS beheading videos, the pieces collected in this volume challenge conventional ways of thinking about ISIS and the roots of its appeal. Simon Cottee's core argument is that Western ISIS recruits, far from being brainwashed or 'vulnerable' dupes, actively responded to the group's promise of redemptive violence and self-sacrifice to a total cause.
The Apostates is the first major study of apostasy from Islam in the western secular context. Drawing on life-history interviews with ex-Muslims from the UK and Canada, Simon Cottee explores how and with what consequences Muslims leave Islam and become irreligious.
‘Free people should be able to abandon their religion without being punished. Simon Cottee brings us the stories of British and Canadian ex-Muslims who live in the shadow of stigma and with the threat of ostracism. Wider society has ignored them, and the most disgraceful elements of the Left have denounced them, but here they can speak for themselves. Books are too often described as “important” or “original” when they are neither. The Apostates is both.’ — Nick Cohen, columnist and author of You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom
Christopher Hitchens—political journalist, cultural critic, public intellectual and self-described contrarian—is one of the most controversial and prolific writers of his generation. Whatever readers might think about Hitchens, he remains an intellectual force to be reckoned with. And there is no better place to encounter his current thinking than in this provocative volume.
“The controversial pundit dishes out and takes punishment in this anthology of rancorous essays by him and the leftist comrades he abandoned to embrace the invasion of Iraq. . . .There'’s red meat aplenty for pro- and anti-Hitchens readers.” - Publishers Weekly