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Are today's radicals tomorrow's extremists? Are adherents to Islamism necessarily extremist or violent? Most analyses of violence emanating from the Middle East or from Europe's Muslim communities tend to assume that this is the case. Not so in this book. Instead, with a wide-ranging and case-by-case approach, it seeks to look beyond these assumptions, examining the specific contexts of radicalism and asking what creates the conditions for radicalisation. Shedding much-needed light upon a phenomenon that has helped to define today's world, this book will be essential for general readers, students and researchers who take an interest in the fields of Politics, International Relations and the phenomena of multiculturalism and terrorism.
"Issues relating to political Islam continue to present challenges to European foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa. In this volume, European and regional experts analyse trends driving the radicalisation of political Islam as well as the contrary trend of de-radicalisation observed in some countries where Islamist parties have secured democratic political participation. The question underlying the book is whether the EU should engage more specifically with the 'moderate' Islamist parties, and at least recognise radical Islamist movements the achieve democratic electoral success and legitimacy, such as Palestinian Hamas. Current EU policies are largely negative on both accounts. The conclusions of this book argue for a change in this stance, with a three-dimensional approach: a) to put pressure on incumbent regimes to abandon the repression of moderate Islamist movements, b) to influence the legal and political frameworks regulating social and political participation in a more open way and c) to engage in dialogue with non-violent opposition forces--both Islamist and non-Islamist. In the absence of such policies, the EU risks contributing to a re-radicalisation of movements that have become disillusioned with the failure of their political moderation to produce results."--P.  of cover.
This book examines the Islamist radicalisation process in Europe, developing a new theoretical model based on an empirical study of the evolution of Islamist radicals in their social environment. The approach of this book is to examine how, and under what conditions, people choose to radicalise. It focuses on the experience of radicalisation from the perspective of those who have undergone it. The study is based on trial and court material, along with an extensive number of interviews collected from many different European countries, and this biographical approach is used to address individuals and the details of their social environment. Overall, the explanatory framework departs from the existing deterministic paradigm (with grievances as causes), also present in some psychological models, and argues that radicalisation is a process much like occupational choice – a rational choice made with social and ideational significance. It addresses critically the assumption that, because the result of the radicalisation process could be seen as ‘abnormal’, the cause of it might be of a similar nature. Parallels are drawn with other forms of extremism and European counter-radicalisation policies are considered critically. This book will be of great interest to students of terrorism studies and political violence, political Islam, social movements, European politics and IR/security studies in general.
In the current climate of political extremism and violence, much attention has been directed towards "radicalisation" as the reasons behind such courses of action, along with a conviction that those who are radicalised represent an irrational deviation from the conventionally accepted norms of social and political behaviour. This book focuses on the current issues and analytical approaches to the phenomenon of radicalisation in North Africa. Taking a comprehensive approach to the subject, it looks at the processes that lead to radicalisation, rather than the often violent outcomes. At the same time, chapters expand the discussion historically and conceptually beyond the preoccupations of recent years, in order to develop a more holistic understanding of a complex individual and collective process that has represented a permanent challenge to dominant political, social and, on occasion, economic norms. With contributions from academics and policy-makers within and outside the region, the book is a comprehensive investigation of Islamist Radicalisation. As such, it will be of great interest to academics and students investigating North Africa and terrorism, as well as specialists in radicalism and extremism.
This policy brief provides an overview of the sociological issues underpinning the issues of far right and Islamist reciprocal or cumulative radicalisation in the Western European context. That is, these groups radicalise each other by mutually reinforcing their hate, intolerance, or indignation towards each other. The nature of reciprocal radicalisation between far right and Islamist extremist groups reflects a range of sociological phenomena affecting political identities, citizenship, and questions of nationhood in relation to young men experiencing social alienation and cultural discontent. These social fissures can lead to oppositional group formations in a climate of widening structural inequality, political polarisation, and direct structural and cultural racism and racialisation. This paper argues the importance of grasping the landscape of extremism, radicalism, and political violence from below, in particular assessing the importance of local area urban social issues, where the problems of radicalisation are local in the making—and so, therefore, are the solutions.