Exploring People’s Perceptions of Precursors to the Development of Radicalisation and Extremism.
Keywords:Perceptions, Influences, Radicalisation, Precursors, Extremism, Identity
The aim of the research was to explore perceptions of factors that may influence individuals to become radicalised. A semi-structured interview was carried out with 30 participants (15 = males, 15 = females) recruited in equal numbers from a U.K. and a U.S. university. Transcripts of the interviews were then analysed using thematic analysis. There was a high degree of agreement on likely precursors to radicalisation across the two groups with lack of identity, lack of social integration and loss of significance being the main factors. Some respondents identified that they believed that there may be personality types or vulnerabilities (e.g., mental health issues) that increased the likelihood of radicalisation. Overcoming these issues was the basis of counter radicalisation proposals with a strong emphasis on educational initiatives. Participants from the two countries were largely in agreement apart from their views relating to local communities and indicators of radicalisation. These factors are discussed in relation to prevention and intervention strategies.
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