Rise of Radicalization in the Global Village. Online Radicalization vs. In-person Radicalization - Is There a Difference?


  • Tanja Dramac Jiries School of Advanced Studies Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy


In the vicinity of open space, some authors have called the “dark web” the perfect “breeding grounds” for generating conditions for seeds of extremism to thrive and grow. The perceived anonymity and vast information databases found here present a perfect incubator for terrorist activity. Academics and policymakers alike are as well convinced that such an open space filled with recruiter masterminds is perfectly adept at embracing the unadoptable, unconventional, or socially unfit into terrorist or jihadi organizations.

Nevertheless, regardless of organizations, modernization and adoption of new technological methods in which one can obtain ideas and information, many individuals are still and to a great extent, influenced by face-to-face interactions. Intimate environments of a religious institution, somewhat of a home-like feeling in community gathering center, can equally impact a person, as can the internet and its vast informational influence.

For the reason of contributing to understand the radicalization in the Global Village, this article will examine differences in online and in-person radicalization and illustrate it with some examples and attempt to make a comparison between two different exposures to information and its effects on young individuals.

Author Biography

Tanja Dramac Jiries, School of Advanced Studies Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

Tanja Dramac Jiries is a PhD candidate at the School of Advanced Studies Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy


Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity Al Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. University of Minnesota Press., 1996.

Bakker, Edwin. "Jihadi Terrorists in Europe Their Characteristics and the Circumstances in Which They Joined the Jihad: An Exploratory Study." Clignendael. December 2006. Accessed February 28, 2016. http://www.clingendael.nl/sites/default/files/20061200_cscp_csp_bakker.pdf.

Barber, Benjamin R. Jihad vs. McWorld. New York: Ballantine Books, 1996.

Bartlett, Jamie, and Carl Miller. "The Edge of Violence: Towards Telling the Difference Between Violent and Non-Violent Radicalization." Terrorism and Political Violence 24, no. 1 (2012): 1-21.

Berger, Peter L. Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Berger, Peter L., and Samuel P. Huntington. Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Brubaker, Rogers, and Frederick Cooper. "Beyond “identity”." Theory and Society 29, no. 1 (2002): 1-47. doi:10.1023/A:1007068714468.

"ISIS Captors Cared Little about Religion, Says Francois - CNN.com." CNN. Accessed December 21, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/03/intl_world/amanpour-didier-francois/.

Chomsky, Noam. Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2006.

Christmann, Kris. "Preventing Religious Radicalisation and Violent Extremism A Systematic Review of the Research Evidence." Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. 2012. Accessed February 26, 2016. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/396030/preventing-violent-extremism-systematic-review.pdf.

Cocoli, Isabela. "Islamic Radicalization Stirs Concern in Bosnia." VOA. April 30, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2015. http://www.voanews.com/content/islamic-radicalization-stirs-concern-bosnia/2743574.html.

Cragin, Kim, and Sara Daly. "The Dynamic Terrorist Threat: An Assessment of Group Motivations and Capabilities in a Changing World." RAND Corporation Provides Objective Research Services and Public Policy Analysis. Accessed December 25, 2015. http://www.rand.org/.

Dalgaard-Nielsen, Anja. "Violent Radicalization in Europe: What We Know and What We Do Not Know." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 33, no. 9 (2010): 797-814.

Daoud, Kamel. "Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It." The New York Times. November 21, 2015. Accessed December 30, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/opinion/saudi-arabia-an-isis-that-has-made-it.html.

Doosje, Bertjan, Annemarie Loseman, and Kees Van Den Bos. "Determinants of Radicalization of Islamic Youth in the Netherlands: Personal Uncertainty, Perceived Injustice, and Perceived Group Threat." Journal of Social Issues 69, no. 3 (2013): 586-604.

Dzidic, Denis. "Bosnia's Wartime Legacy Fuels Radical Islam." Bosnia’s Wartime Legacy Fuels Radical Islam. May 13, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2015. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnia-s-wartime-legacy-fuels-radical-islam.

Fagan, G. Honor, and Ronaldo Munck. Globalization and Security: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger Security International, 2009.

Fishman, Shira. "Community‐Level Indicators of Radicalization: A Data and Methods Task Force." February 16, 2010. Accessed February 24, 2016. https://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_HFD_CommRadReport.pdf.

"Global Terrorism Index." Institute for Economics and Peace. 2014. Accessed December 30, 2015. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/sites/default/files/Global Terrorism Index Report 2014_0.pdf.

Golden, Robert. Windows Kiss the Shadows of the Passing Thirty Million. S.l.: Triarchy Press, 2015.

Helfstein, Scott. "Edges of Radicalization: Ideas, Individuals and Networks in Violent Extremism." The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. February 2012. Accessed January 10, 2016. https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CTC_EdgesofRadicalization.pdf.

Henry, Barbara. "The Play of Mirrors, Representation of the Self and the Other in Fragmented Globalization." Accessed December 24, 2015. http://www.sifp.it/pdf/Art-Henry1-DEF3.pdf.

Hirsch-Hoefler, Sivan, Daphna Canetti, and Ehud Eiran. "Radicalizing Religion? Religious Identity and Settlers' Behavior." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 2016, 1-19. Accessed February 19, 2016.

Howell, James C. "Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs." U.S. Department of Justice. 2010. Accessed March 07, 2016. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/231116.pdf.

"Kenya Warns of Mosque Closures." AllAfrica.com. 2014. Accessed January 25, 2016. http://allafrica.com/stories/201409160310.html.

Koehler, Daniel. "The Radical Online: Individual Radicalization Processes and the Role of the Internet." Journal for Deradicalization 1 (2014): 116-34.

Koehler, Daniel. "Violent Radicalization Revisited: A Practice-Oriented Model – Analysis." Eurasia Review. January 09, 2016. Accessed March 07, 2016. http://www.eurasiareview.com/09012016-violent-radicalization-revisited-a-practice-oriented-model-analysis/.

McCauley, Clark, and Sophia Moskalenko. "Mechanisms Of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism." Terrorism and Political Violence: 415-33. Accessed December 30, 2015. doi:10.1080/09546550802073367.

McCoy, Terrence. "The Apocalyptic Magazine the Islamic State Uses to Recruit and Radicalize Foreigners." Washington Post. September 16, 2014. Accessed February 22, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/09/16/the-apocalyptic-magazine-the-islamic-state-uses-to-recruit-and-radicalize-foreigners/.

Michael Jenkins, Brian. "Building an Army of Believers Jihadist Radicalization and Recruitment." Testimony Presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment. 2007. Accessed December 30, 2015. http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimonies/2007/RAND_CT278-1.pdf.

Nesser, Petter. "Research Note: Single Actor Terrorism: Scope, Characteristics and Explanations." PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM 6, no. 6 (December 2012): 61-73. Accessed February 17, 2016.

Pargeter, Alison. "Localism and Radicalization in North Africa: Local Factors and the Development of Political Islam in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya." International Affairs 85, no. 5 (2009): 1031-044.

Patel, Faiza. "Rethinking Radicalization." Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed January 25, 2016. http://www.brennancenter.org/.

Pettinger, Tom. "What Is the Impact of Foreign Military Intervention on Radicalization?" Journal for Deradicalization 5 (December 2015): 92-119. Accessed February 17, 2016.

Rabasa, Angela. "The Muslim World After 9/11." RAND Corporation Provides Objective Research Services and Public Policy Analysis. Accessed December 25, 2015. http://www.rand.org/.

Report, START. "Community‐Level Indicators of Radicalization: A Data and Methods Task Force Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security." START. February 16, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2015. https://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_HFD_CommRadReport.pdf.

Schmid, Alex P., "Radicalization, De-Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review." ICCT. Accessed December 25, 2015. http://icct.nl/.

Sedgwick, Mark. "The Concept of Radicalization as a Source of Confusion." Terrorism and Political Violence 22, no. 4 (2010): 479-94.

Sivek, Susan Currie. "Packaging Inspiration: Al Qaeda’s Digital Magazine Inspire in the Self-Radicalization Process." International Journal of Communication 7 (May 23, 2012): 584-606.

Taylor, Charles. "The Politics of Recognition." Accessed December 27, 2015. http://elplandehiram.org/documentos/JoustingNYC/Politics_of_Recognition.pdf.

Urban, Mark, "Bosnia: Cradle of Modern Jihadism?" BBC News. July 4, 2015.

Von Behr, Ines, Anaïs Reding, Charlie Edwards, and Luke Gribbon. "Radicalization in the Digital Era." Radicalisation in the Digital Era: The Use of the Internet in 15 Cases of Terrorism and Extremism. 2013. Accessed February 21, 2016. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR453.html.