A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Deradicalisation: Results from Germany and Pakistan


  • Sebastian Kurtenbach University of Applied Science Münster
  • Linda Schumilas University of Applied Science Münster
  • Abdul Kareem University of Balochistan, Killa Saif Ullah, Pakistan
  • Julian Waleciak University of Applied Sciences Muenster
  • Muhammad Zaman Department of Sociology, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad


Deradicalisation, Cross-Cultural Comparisons, Germany, Pakistan, Terrorism


Deradicalisation refers to the process of distancing oneself from extremist ideologies. As a social challenge, it is usually addressed by specially qualified professionals. In this paper, based on 16 interviews with deradicalisation professionals, we comparatively examine deradicalisation practices in coercive environments in Germany and Pakistan. This cross-cultural comparison using “most dissimilar” cases allows us to distinguish between general and culture-specific approaches, while also allowing the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to emerge; this can be used to further develop deradicalisation efforts. Based on our evaluation of target groups, goals, professional understandings of radicalisation and its methods, this text elaborates the differences and similarities of deradicalisation practices; we also formulate consequences for deradicalisation practice and outline the need for further research.


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