Reconsidering the Relationship Between Integration and Radicalization
Research literature suggests a number of possible causes leading to radicalization of young Muslims living in Western countries, including poverty, social marginalization, weak or threatened identities, lack of connection to native culture, etc.. Regardless of the diversity of causes, academic literature as well as governmental strategies have shown a consistent interest in the basic formula that a lack of cultural integration equals an increased threat of radicalization. The lacking evidence for the simple correlation, however, has become increasingly difficult to ignore. Based on a review of existing ideas and evidence concerning the relationship between integration and radicalization, this paper concludes that the presumed relationship needs to be reconsidered, because it is not supported by evidence, and because it can lead to ineffective or potentially harmful interventions.
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