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The Radicalization Process

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THE RADICALIZATION PROCESS

Radicalization Leading to Violence: A Complex, Multi-dimensional Process

The process of radicalization leading to violence follows a nonlinear, non-predetermined path, shaped by multiple factors—personal and collective, social and psychological. No single element suffices, in and of itself, to explain the radicalization of an individual or group of individuals. The process is the result of the confluence of a specific personal journey and a system of beliefs justifying the use of violence, which may be exacerbated by a perceived moral threat or threat to the individual’s identity and fanned by physical and virtual social networks.
Radicalization that leads to violence rarely takes the form of a sudden or abrupt change but rather of a complex social change that operates on several different levels, as shown in the diagram below.

Social Context

On a social level, the process of radicalization may be triggered, influenced or fostered by socio-political or socio-emotional circumstances that affect the individual directly or indirectly. When faced with political, social, or economic malaise, whether real or perceived, individuals may come to question the promise of togetherness (living together) and their sense of belonging to the community.

Living Environments

Individuals who experience identity malaise or perceived injustice or marginalization may seek answers and remedies to situations they deem to be unjust or in need of redress. The degree to which protective or vulnerability factors are present in individuals’ living environments may influence their worldview and contribute to their their adoption of certain radical views legitimizing violence.

Personal Journey

For individuals undergoing indoctrination, all interpretations of the world are necessarily viewed in ideological terms with a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’, an ‘us’ and a ‘them’, and a ‘pure’ and an ‘impure’ group. Due to this progressive dichotomization of the world, such individuals come to systematically reject any competing explanations or alternative views of society. In the indoctrination process, ideology supplies justifications and explanations that encourage devotees to take part in more radical forms of action, including the active support of or participation in violent acts.
The following video provides a summary that will help you better understand the dynamics involved in radicalization leading to violence and how they are interconnected :

  • 8 September 2021
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OUR WEBINARS ARE BACK !

This fall, the CPRLV is offering a series of free webinars, open to all, on issues related to radicalization leading to violence and hate-motivated acts. Join us to be better equipped to act as a prevention actor. For more details and to register, check out our programming
  • 1 September 2021
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The CPRLV is growing!

We are delighted to welcome Khaoula El Khalil, our new Research Advisor, to the CPRLV team. As Research advisor at the CPRLV, Khaoula is in charge of researching content on hate-motivated acts, as well as providing scientific support for the content of the teams’ programs and tools. Khaoula is a Master’s graduate in political science […]
  • 20 August 2021
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MEET THE TEAM BEHIND 404 MAGAZINE

The 404 Magazine team is looking forward to bringing its new fall issue, which focuses on the theme of “Beyond Hate”. To give you a taste of what’s to come, the members of the team have put together a video explaining why this theme was chosen and why you MUST read this issue !