A Conceptual Exploration of Radicalisation

Richards, Julian J (2018) A Conceptual Exploration of Radicalisation. Solsko polje, XXIX (5-6). pp. 11-32. ISSN 1581–6052

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Interest in radicalism has a long history, dating back at least to the stirrings of Enlightenment Europe. Scrutiny of processes of radicalisation, however, have a much more recent history, with an upsurge in interest following the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001. Two key drivers have shaped the renewed interest. First, bureaucratic pressures in governments charged with dealing with the problem of terrorism have led to a number of attempts to profile terrorists and shape process models that can “explain” radicalisation. Second, a growing realisation that attacks after 9/11 – especially in Europe –were committed not by foreign radicals but by “homegrown” citizens, has led to an increase in policy circles in the human factors concerning how individuals become drawn into violent movements, from a societal and sociological perspective. In terms of research and modelling, there is growing recognition of two poles in the landscape: macro-level, or top-down models focus on the ideologies and ideologues who are pulling individuals into the radical movement. Micro-level, or bottom-up models, conversely, look at the individuals becoming radicalised and their personal life-stories and experiences. More recently, research into radicalisation has settled into a new narrative that offers a synthesised perspective on macro- and micro-level factors. This more enlightened approach stresses the context-specificity of radicalisation, in that, while environmental factors causing despair and humiliation may be broad and widely present, the circumstances in which any one individual will be drawn into a violent course of action will be highly variable. This, in turn, stresses the importance of continual and repeated empirical research into individual tipping-points leading to violent radicalisation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: radicalism; radicalisation; extremism; terrorism; modelling; empiricism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Julian Richards
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 08:36
URI: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/359

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