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Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Ryan Scrivens, Steven Windisch and Pete Simi

Purpose – This chapter examines how those who study issues related to radicalization and counter-radicalization have recently drawn from the experiences of former…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines how those who study issues related to radicalization and counter-radicalization have recently drawn from the experiences of former extremists to inform our understanding of complex issues in terrorism and extremism studies.

Approach – The authors synthesize the empirical research on radicalization and counter-radicalization that incorporates formers in the research designs. In doing so, the authors trace these research trends as they unfold throughout the life-course: (1) extremist precursors; (2) radicalization toward extremist violence; (3) leaving violent extremism; and (4) combating violent extremism.

Findings – While formers have informed our understanding of an array of issues related to radicalization and counter-radicalization, empirical research in this space is in its infancy and requires ongoing analyses.

Value – This chapter provides researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with an in-depth account of how formers have informed radicalization and counter-radicalization research in recent years as well as an overview of some of the key gaps in the empirical literature.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

William J. Schultz, Sandra M. Bucerius and Kevin D. Haggerty

Purpose – This chapter explores the question of whether provincial prisons in Western Canada might serve as a breeding ground for radical extremism.Methodology/Approach

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter explores the question of whether provincial prisons in Western Canada might serve as a breeding ground for radical extremism.

Methodology/Approach – A large team of researchers from the University of Alberta Prison Project conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 587 incarcerated men and women, as well as 131 correctional officers (COs) located in four provincial prisons in Western Canada. Interviews involved a series of wide-ranging questions about prison life, but also prodded on topics relating to radicalized messaging or recruitment in the prisons where the participants lived or worked.

Findings – The authors learned that unlike other jurisdictions, radicalization was not common in the institutions they studied. The authors identified several factors that appear to inhibit the emergence of extremist radicalization in this research setting: (a) the existing prisoner subculture; (b) prisoners’ beliefs in Canadian multiculturalism and understandings of Canadian race relations; and (c) COs’ efforts to single out and isolate ostensible extremists.

Originality/Value – There is no empirical research on prison radicalization in Canada, and little independent research conducted inside of Canadian prisons more generally. The findings of this study contributes to an ongoing discussion about radicalization in prison and identify factors that appear to limit the prospect that prisons might become breeding grounds for radical extremism.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Alex Wilner and Claire-Jehanne Dubouloz

Purpose – Drawing on Transformative Learning (TL) theory, the authors suggest a new and novel way to approach the study of violent radicalization.Methodology/Approach

Abstract

Purpose – Drawing on Transformative Learning (TL) theory, the authors suggest a new and novel way to approach the study of violent radicalization.

Methodology/Approach – First, their argument is supported by the development of a Transformative Radicalization (TR) framework that borrows and adapts the core tenets of TL theory. Second, they provide a preliminary illustrative exploration of TR using two autobiographical accounts of militant radicalization (Islamist and Anarchist) from the UK and Canada.

FindingsRadicalization is a cognitive and emotional process of change that prepares and motivates an individual to pursue violent behavior. That process of change is incremental; individuals learn and adopt novel political, social, ideological, and/or religious ideals that justify and legitimize indiscriminate violence. The TR framework provides a more nuanced appreciation for the cognitive aspects involved in this process. The authors’ empirical illustrations provide guidance on how subsequent research might use original interview data on individual radicalization processes to develop more in-depth, cross-case comparisons.

Originality/Value – This theory builds a cross-disciplinary understanding of violent radicalization that highlights the way adults learn, alter their meaning perspectives, and change their behavior.

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Fahad Ahmad

Purpose – This chapter highlights how counter-radicalization, as a manifestation of diffuse securitizing, impacts the work of Muslim civil society organizations (CSOs) in…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter highlights how counter-radicalization, as a manifestation of diffuse securitizing, impacts the work of Muslim civil society organizations (CSOs) in Canada.

Methodology – The author presents how Muslim communities and their civil society representatives experience and adapt to the pressures from counter-radicalization policies. Data for the analysis are drawn from 16 semi-structured, anonymized interviews with managers and board members of prominent Muslim CSOs that are based in urban centers in Canada with high density of Muslim populations.

Findings – Though counter-radicalization policies are advanced under the rubric of community-orientedness and risk governance, security discourse and practice constructs radicalization as a problem within Muslim communities treating them as suspects who are “potentially radical.” Despite this framing, Muslim CSOs are cooperating with state security agencies in counter-radicalization efforts but are doing so cognizant of the immense power the state exerts over them in such “partnerships.” CSOs are raising questions about the selective nature of security practice which views Muslims as dangerous and violent but fails to fully acknowledge their reality as victims of Islamophobic violence. CSOs are using anti-racism, anti-oppression, and rights-based frames to call out the discriminatory treatment of Muslims under national security.

Originality/Value – The author’s study contributes to a community perspective in counterterrorism and counter-radicalization research that is dominated by analyses from “above.” By sharing the experiences of Canadian Muslim CSOs under counter-radicalization, the author illustrates the practice of “diffuse securitizing” and how it limits the work of civil society in liberal democracies.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Keiran Hardy

Purpose – To examine how John Stuart Mill’s harm principle can guide debates surrounding definitions of radicalization, extremism, and deradicalization.Methodology/Approach

Abstract

Purpose – To examine how John Stuart Mill’s harm principle can guide debates surrounding definitions of radicalization, extremism, and deradicalization.

Methodology/Approach – This chapter begins by surveying definitional debates in terrorism studies according to three identified binaries: (1) cognitive versus behavioral radicalization; (2) violent extremism versus non-violent extremism; and (3) deradicalization versus disengagement. The author then interprets Mill’s harm principle and assesses which interpretation researchers and policy-makers should favor.

Findings – Applying the harm principle suggests that researchers and policy-makers should prefer behavioral over cognitive radicalization, violent over non-violent extremism, and disengagement over deradicalization. This is because government intervention in people’s lives can be justified to prevent direct risks of harm, but not to change beliefs that diverge from mainstream society.

Originality/Value – This chapter extends previous work that applied the harm principle to coercive preventive measures in counter-terrorism. It makes an original contribution by applying the principle to definitional debates surrounding radicalization and counter-radicalization. The harm principle provides researchers and policy-makers with a compass to navigate these debates. It offers an analytical method for resolving conceptual confusion.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Stefano Bonino

Purpose – This chapter examines the process of radicalization, deradicalization, and support for intelligence agencies in a few well-known cases of terrorists who turned…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the process of radicalization, deradicalization, and support for intelligence agencies in a few well-known cases of terrorists who turned into informants.

Methodology/Approach – Five cases studies are utilized to demonstrate the process of engagement in, disengagement from, and revolt against terrorist groups. Existing literature on radicalization and deradicalization is set against the context of these case studies.

Findings – By drawing upon the experiences of terrorists who turned into informants, it is possible to prove theories on radicalization and deradicalization. In particular, the process of cognitive radicalization presumes that extremist beliefs can also be rejected (deradicalization), while the process of behavioral radicalization presumes that terrorists can distance themselves from extremist behaviors (disengagement).

Originality/Value – Scholarship has traditionally focused on “underdogs” of all kinds, with a less keen interest in elites or the actors operating on their behalf. The work of informants has often remained in a dimly lit corner of academic research. This chapter helps illuminate the path undertaken by terrorists who become informants for Western security apparatus.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Radicalisation and Counter-Radicalisation in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-005-5

Abstract

Details

Radicalisation and Counter-Radicalisation in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-005-5

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2021

Ryan Little, Peter Ford and Alessandra Girardi

Understanding the psychological risk factors in radicalisation and terrorism is typically limited by both a lack of access to individuals who carry out the acts and those…

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding the psychological risk factors in radicalisation and terrorism is typically limited by both a lack of access to individuals who carry out the acts and those who are willing to engage in research on the matter. The purpose of this study is to describe the process of self-radicalisation of an otherwise law-abiding individual who engaged in single-actor terrorism activities.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study, based on clinical interviews and psychometric testing, of an individual with autism who engaged in multiple acts of terrorism through online activity. The case is presented within existing frameworks of radicalisation, and describes how it developed along the steps described in the path to intended violence.

Findings

A number of variables are identified as contributing towards the individual’s vulnerability to radicalisation, such as deficits in higher order cognition, psychopathology, autism spectrum disorder traits, personal interests, social isolation and life stressors.

Originality/value

Unique to this study is how the process of radicalisation and the possibility to carry out the individual’s attacks was made possible only through the use of internet technology.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 12 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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