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Globalization and climate change. AI and VR. Donald Trump and the Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed. This is your weekly podcast for a world in flux. Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Just what on Earth is going on?

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Aug 3, 2018

On July 22 a lone gunman opened fire on pedestrians and crowded restaurants on Danforth Avenue in the Greektown District of Toronto. He killed two and wounded ten others before turning the gun on himself. Three months earlier, just a subway ride away, a man drove a rental van onto busy sidewalks, killing ten and injuring 16. What is driving people, particularly young men, to throw away their lives and those of others? Were these incidents of terrorism or just mad acts of violence? What's the difference?

Ben heads to Toronto to speak with Joseph McQuade, a terrorism expert at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, to get to the bottom of these urgent questions. 

About the Guest

Joseph McQuade is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asian Institute’s Centre for South Asian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, with a dissertation that examined the origins of terrorism in colonial South Asia in international perspective. This research is currently being revised into a book manuscript, tentatively titled Anti-colonial nationalism and the birth of ‘terrorism’ in colonial India, 1857-1947. His postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto will interrogate the role of terrorism and insurgency in defining national identity in postcolonial India and Burma (Myanmar). His broader research and teaching interests include critical genealogies of ‘terrorism’ as a political and legal category, the global history of political violence, and the relationship between insurgency and nation-states.

Learn more about Joseph.