Radicalization into Violent Extremism I: A Review of Social Science Theories

  title={Radicalization into Violent Extremism I: A Review of Social Science Theories},
  author={Randy Borum},
  journal={Journal of Strategic Security},
  • R. Borum
  • Published 2011
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Strategic Security
In discourse about countering terrorism, the term "radicalization" is widely used, but remains poorly defined. To focus narrowly on ideological radicalization risks implying that radical beliefs are a proxy—or at least a necessary precursor—for terrorism, though we know this not to be true.Different pathways and mechanisms of terrorism involvement operate in different ways for different people at different points in time and perhaps in different contexts. This article explores the problems in… 
An Interdisciplinary Framework to Assess the Radicalization of Youth Towards Violent Extremism Across Cultures
The search to understand contemporary terrorism has led researchers to increasingly focus their attention on the radicalization process as a means to gain insight into how individuals become
Tackling Terrorism’s Taboo: Shame
This exploratory article provides a conceptual framework for explaining how shame is used by terrorist organizations in their recruitment and radicalization strategies. Shame is a universal emotion,
Six Steps Toward Violent Fundamentalism
This chapter first reviews the current debate on so-called violent radicalization and extremism. It argues that it is theoretically richer and analytically more useful to situate the discussion of
Radicalization to Violence: A Pathway Approach to Studying Extremism
ABSTRACT Prior research on extremism has identified a host of psychological, emotional, material, and group-based mechanisms that are potentially important drivers of individual radicalization.
Examining and problematizing the journalistic discourses of radical rightism
  • Steven Zhao
  • Sociology
    Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • 2020
Abstract This article examines the popular journalistic discourses on the terroristic actions and ideological beliefs of Brenton Tarrant as a way to illuminate the problematic ways in which the
Notional and conceptual approaches to radicalization as a process of violent extremism development
Radicalization is a political, social, psychological and group process that leads to the circumstances where certain political beliefs are accompanied by the readiness of an individual or a group to
Contemporary terrorism and the true believer
ABSTRACT Living in a time of terror, we argue that there needs to be research on what types of people choose to join Islamist terrorist groups. We think that Eric Hoffer's reflections on the ‘true
Violent-extremism: An examination of a definitional dilemma
This article aims to demonstrate how radicalisation, violent-extremism and terrorism are terms often used interchangeably – terms that do not have the same meaning and are generally poorly defined.
Radicalization as a Vector: Exploring Non-Violent and Benevolent Processes of Radicalization.
Successful radicalization posits three outcomes: extremism, terrorism or both. As these are undesirable, radicalization is understood as wholly malevolent and governments work to prevent and/or stop
Mapping the Drivers of Radicalization and Violent Extremism in MENA and the Balkans
Since 2001 there has been growing concern in academia and policy-making to explain and counter the threats posed by violent extremist groups (Stephens et al., 2019). The attempts of scholars and


The Study of New Religious Movements and the Radicalization of Home-Grown Terrorists: Opening a Dialogue
This article examines: (1) the obvious reasons for, and curious absence of, a dialogue between scholars studying new religious movements (NRMs), particularly those responsible for acts of mass
From Profiles to Pathways and Roots to Routes: Perspectives from Psychology on Radicalization into Terrorism
Attempts to profile terrorists have failed resoundingly, leaving behind a poor (and unfair) impression of the potential for a sound psychological contribution to understanding the terrorist. However,
Homegrown terrorism and transformative learning: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding radicalization
Since 2001, a preponderance of terrorist activity in Europe, North America, and Australia, has involved radicalized Westerners inspired by al Qaeda. Described as ‘homegrown terrorism’, perpetrators
Psychology of Terrorism
Abstract : In compiling this annotated bibliography on the psychology of terrorism, the author has defined terrorism as "acts of violence intentionally perpetrated on civilian noncombatants with the
Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism
This article conceptualizes political radicalization as a dimension of increasing extremity of beliefs, feelings, and behaviors in support of intergroup conflict and violence. Across individuals,
Why conventional wisdom on radicalization fails: the persistence of a failed discourse
Politicians, the media, and some academics are getting it wrong about radicalization. Relying on simple narratives to explain how an individual departs from point a (‘a good Muslim boy’) to point b
Terrorist Decision Making
How do terrorists and terrorist groups make decisions? And what influence do terrorist decision-making styles have on the course of a terrorist campaign? Efforts to answer these questions have
Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror
Analysts have suggested several reasons why bin Laden ordered the attacks on 9/11. The jihadists believed that American society, with its materialism, sexual freedom, and female equality, was the
Reconceptualizing 'extremism' and 'moderation': from categories of analysis to categories of practice in the construction of collective identity.
It is argued that categories of moderation and extremism may be employed by social actors in diverse ways to construct different terms of reference and so recruit support for different identity-related projects and the utility of this approach is illustrated with qualitative data.
What is Islamism? History and Definition of a Concept
Abstract Islamism is a complex phenomenon with multiple dimensions and various ramifications. Like other political doctrines, Islamism, in its contemporary shape, is an ‘ideology’, a