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"Knowledge from the region, for the region"

Social Identity and Radicalisation: A Review of Key Concepts

Focus Area
Human Security
Leen Aghabi, Kim Wilkinson, Dr Neven Bondokji, Alethea Osborne
09 Jan 2018

The growth of violent extremist groups in the West Asia - North Africa (WANA) region has impelled academic and policy interest in radicalisation pathways and their drivers. But while radicalisation models usually incorporate identity-related factors, identity itself is rarely a central focus. To fill this gap, this literature review examines a specific area of social psychology – Social Identity Theory (SIT) – to explain how identity and related nuances of group membership, depersonalisation, and self-esteem, can operate to transform individuals into radicals.

This publication is generously supported with funds on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

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