How do people radicalize?

Sabic-El-Rayess, Amra

Very little is known about how violent extremist practices are learned, and the role of educational channels through which they are spread. This empirical study extrapolates insights specific to the Bosnian and Herzegovinian context to demonstrate how one ultraconservative ideology, Salafism, can radically alter the dominant thinking and behavior of ordinary individuals once they feel displaced from the mainstream institutions and particularly from the formal education. At the core of the displacement and replacement model of radicalization is an informal and tactful teacher, influencer, or a mentor that individuals connect with either online or in person. Using the primary data collected in Bosnia and Herzegovina through 20 in-depth and semi-structured interviews with radicalized persons, the study sequences a ten-step radicalization model through which the interviewees have transformed from ordinary citizens into radicalized actors with a potential to engage in violent extremism.


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Also Published In

International Journal of Educational Development

More About This Work

Academic Units
Economics and Education
Published Here
October 11, 2021


Radicalization, Extremism, Terrorism, Education, Educational Displacement, Adult Education, Transformative Learning, Mentorship, Salafism, Violence