Simon Cottee

Simon Cottee is a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Kent and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. His latest book, Watching Murder: ISIS, Death Videos and Radicalisation, is out with Routledge

We need to talk about Salvador Ramos

It’s been over a week now since Salvador Ramos burst in to an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and fatally shot 19 children and two teachers. Still a question remains: why did he do it? One answer is that he was evil: evil people do evil things. Another is that he was crazy: crazy people do

What’s keeping terrorism experts awake at night?

This keeps me up at night. Have you come across this expression of pained anguish lately? This isn’t about conversations with friends or loved one’s on Covid, returning to work or never working again. I’m talking about news stories on national security and terrorism, where experts and counter-terrorism officials are interviewed and feel duty-bound to

The link between terrorism and ideology

It has suddenly become very difficult to have a conversation about terrorism that isn’t overtly politicised or faintly hysterical. This is because so much of the discussion is dominated by what the late American philosopher Robert Nozick scornfully described as ‘normative sociology’ – the ‘study of what the causes of problems ought to be’. ‘If X is bad’, Nozick wrote, ‘and Y,