Rethinking ‘Radicalisation’: Microradicalisations and Reciprocal Radicalisation as an Intertwined Process
Keywords:Radicalisation, Conflict, Concept, Mircoradicalisation
This paper proposes a rethinking of ‘radicalisation’ as a process with no definite beginning or inevitable end-point. Reflecting on empirical research which engaged with radical Islamist and far-right activists and supporters, it argues that we should not focus the concept of radicalisation on the moment in which an individual or group moves from legal to illegal activity, or from non-violent to violent, as this is only one part of a longer journey. Thus, the term radicalisation should encompass any movements towards greater conflict, both commonplace and rare, small and large, driven by a potentially infinite range of motives, encompassing all political outlooks, and made by individuals, groups, societies and states. Using this conceptualisation instead allows us to examine how small conflicts escalate through ‘reciprocal radicalisation’, and how big radicalisations arise from microradicalisations. This, we argue, provides a more equitable basis for policy and practice that aims to avoid, prevent or combat the most problematic radicalisations, or otherwise resolve political conflict. To achieve this, however, also means not hyping everyday radicalisations into a threat to the existence of the nation state.
Awan, A., Hoskins, A., & O’Loughlin, B. (2012). Radicalisation and Media. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bailey, G. (2015). Extremism, community and stigma: researching the far-right and radical Islam in their context. In K. Bhopal & R. Deuchar (Eds.), Researching Marginalised Groups. London: Routledge.
Back, L., & Sinha, S. (2016). Multicultural Conviviality in the Midst of Racism’s Ruins. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 37(5), 517–532.
Bartlett, J., & Miller, C. (2012). The edge of violence: towards telling the difference between violent and non-violent radicalization. Terrorism and Political Violence, 24(1), 1–21.
BBC News (2016) Radicalisation fear over cucumber drawing by boy, 4. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-35783659
Benford, R. D., & Snow, D. A. (2000). Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment. Annual Review of Sociology, 26(1), 611–639.
Bjørgo, T. (2013). Strategies for Preventing Terrorism. London: Palgrave.
Busher, J., & Macklin, G. (2014). Interpreting “cumulative extremism”: six proposals for enhancing conceptual clarity. Terrorism and Political Violence, 27(5), 884–905.
Busher, J. (2015). What part do social networks play in radicalisation? Retrieved January 15, 2017, from http://www.radicalisationresearch.org/debate/busher-social-networks/
Cabinet Office. (2013). Tackling Extremism in the UK.
Cantle, T. (2001). Community Cohesion: A Report of the Independent Review Team. London: Home Office. Retrieved from http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-
Carter, E. (2005). The Extreme Right in Western Europe: Success or Failure? Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Choudhury, T. (2007). The Role of Muslim Identity Politics in Radicalisation. London: DCLG.
Christmann, K. (2012). Preventing Religious Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: A Systematic Review of the Research Evidence. London: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.
Conias Research Institute. (n.d.). The Heidelberg Conflict Model - The Definition of Political Conflicts. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from http://test.conis-group.org/en/conflict_research_in_heidelberg/definition_political_conflict.html
Corner, E., & Gill, P. (2014). A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism. Law and Human Behaviour, 39(1), 23–34.
Crenshaw, M. (2008). The Logic of Terrorism. In S. Mahan & P. L. Griset (Eds.), Terrorism in Perspective. London: Sage.
della Porta, D., & LaFree, G. (2011). Guest editorial: processes of radicalization and de-radicalization. International Jounal of Conflict and Violence, 6(1), 4–10.
Deloughery, K., King, R. D., Asal, V., & Rethemeyer, R. K. (2012). Analysis of Factors Related to Hate Crime and Terrorism. College Park, MD.
Eatwell, R. (2006). Community cohesion and cumulative extremism in contemporary Britain. The Political Quarterly, 77(2), 204–216.
Edwards, P. (2009). More work! Less pay!’: Rebellion and Repression in Italy, 1972-7. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Edwards, P. (2014). How (not) to create ex-terrorists: PREVENT as ideological warfare. In C. Heath-Kelly & C. Baker-Beall (Eds.), Counter-Radicalisation: Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge.
Edwards, P. (2016). Closure through resilience: the case of PREVENT. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 39(4), 292–307.
Elias, N., Dunning, E., Goudsblom, J., & Mennell, S. (2000). The Civilizing Process. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Eur-LEX. (2008). EU rules on terrorist offences and related penalties. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV%3Al33168
Foucault, M. (2003). Society Must Be Defended. London: Penguin.
Freeden, M. (1994). Political concepts and ideological morphology. Journal of Political Philosophy, 2(2), 140–164.
Freeden, M. (1996). Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Haddad, S. (2003). Islam and attitudes toward U.S. policy in the Middle East: Evidence from survey research in Lebanon. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 26(2), 135–154.
Hasan, M. (2013). Woolwich attack: overreacting to extremism “could bring back al-Qaeda” ex-CIA officer warns. Retrieved March 1, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/27/sageman-interview_n_3342206.html
Hirsch, S. (2017). From Powell to Casey: the Mythical White Working Class. Retrieved February 1, 2017, from http://discoversociety.org/2017/02/01/from-powell-to-casey-the-mythical-white-working-class/
Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Holbrook, D. (2013). Far right and Islamist extremist discourses: shifting patterns of enmity. In M. Taylor, P. M. Currie, & D. Holbrook (Eds.), Extreme Right Wing Political Violence and Terrorism. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Hollway, W., & Jefferson, T. (2000). Doing qualitative research differently. London: Sage Publications.
Home Office. (2010). Proscribed Terrorist Groups. Retrieved from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/counter-terrorism/proscribed-terror-groups/
Houtman, D. (2003). Lipset and “working-class” authoritarianism. American Sociologist, 34(Spring/Summer), 86–105.
Huntington, S. (1996). The clash of civilizations and the remaking of the world order. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Jackson, R. (2009). Knowledge, power and politics in the study of political terrorism. In R. Jackson, M. B. Smyth, & J. Gunning (Eds.), Critical Terrorism Studies: A New research Agenda. Abingdon: Routledge.
Jones, K. (2003). The turn to a narrative knowing of persons: one method explored. Nursing Times Research, 8(1), 60-71.
Jost, J. T., Ledgerwood, A., & Hardin, C. D. (2007). Shared reality, system justification, and the relational basis of ideological beliefs. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1, 1–16.
Koehler, D. (2015). Contrast Societies. Radical Social Movements and their relationships with their target societies: a theoretical model. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 7(1), 18-34.
Kundnani, A. (2012). Blind Spot? Security Narratives and far-right Violence in Europe. The Hague: ICCT.
Kundnani, A. (2014). The Muslims are Coming. London: Verso.
Lipsky, M. (1980). Street-Level Bureaucracy. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Mandel, D. R. (2009). Radicalization: What does it mean? In T. M. Pick, A. Speckhard, & B. Jacuch (Eds.), Home-grown Terrorism. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Maruna, S. (2001). Making Good: How Ex-convicts Reform and Rebuild their Lives. Washington: American Psychological Association.
McCauley, C., & Moskalenko, S. (2010). Individual and Group Mechanisms of Radicalization.
McCauley, C., & Moskalenko, S. (2011). Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us. New York: Oxford University Press.
Meer, N., & Modood, T. (2011). The racialisation of Muslims. In S. Sayyid & A. Vakil (Eds.), Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination: Fortieth Anniversary Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mirza, M., Senthilkumaran, A., & Ja’far, Z. (2007). Living Apart Together. London: Policy Exchange.
Moghaddam, F. M. (2005). The staircase to terrorism: a psychological exploration. American Psychologist, 60(2), 161–169.
Mudde, C. (2000). The Ideology of the Extreme Right. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Neumann, P. (2008). Introduction. In P. Neumann, J. Stoil, & D. Esfandiary (Eds.), Perspectives on radicalisation and political violence: papers from the first International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence. London: ICSR.
Neumann, P. (2013). The trouble with radicalization. International Affairs, 89(4), 873–893.
Norris, P. (2005). Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Norton, A. (2013). On the Muslim Question. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Painter, A. (2013). Democratic Stress, the Populist Signal and Extremist Threat. London.
Percival, J. (2009). Two arrested after protest at soldiers’ homecoming parade in Luton. Guardian. London.
Perry, B., & Alvi, S. (2012). “We are all vulnerable”: The in terrorem effects of hate crimes. International Review of Victimology, 18(1), 57–71.
Rydgren, J. (2007). The sociology of the radical right. Annual Review of Sociology, 33(1), 241-262.
Sageman, M. (2008). Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Schmid, A. P. (2004). Terrorism: the definitional problem. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 36, 375–419.
Schmid, A. P. (2013). Radicalisation, De-Radicalisation, Counter-Radicalisation: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review.
Sedgwick, M. (2010). The Concept of Radicalization as a Source of Confusion. Terrorism and Political Violence, 22(4), 479–494.
Snow, D. A. (2004). Framing processes, ideology, and discursive fields. In D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule, & H. Kriesi (Eds.), The Blackwell companion to social movements. Hoboken: Wiley.
Spencer, A. (2006). Questioning the Concept of “New Terrorism.” Peace, Conflict & Development, (8), 1–33.
Sunstein, C. (2009). Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tuman, J. S. (2003). Communicating Terror: The Rhetorical Dimensions of Terrorism. London: Sage.
van Dijk, T. (1998). Ideology: A multidisciplinary approach. London: Sage.
van Stekelenberg, J., & Klandermans, B. (2013). The social psychology of protest. Current Sociology, 61(5-6), 886–905.
Waddington, D. (2007). Policing Public Disorder: Theory and Practice. Cullompton: Willan.
Warwickshire Police. (n.d.). Prevent - play your part. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/article/7822/Prevent---play-your-part
Wengraf, T. (2001). Qualitative research interviewing: biographic narrative and semi-structured methods. London: Sage.
Wiktorowicz, Q. (2005). Radical Islam rising : Muslim extremism in the West. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Willis, P. E. (1977). Learning to labour: how working class kids get working class jobs. Aldershot: Gower.
The JD Journal for Deradicalization uses a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND) Licence. You are free to share - copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following conditions:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, andindicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.