Causes of Radicalization

How Does Radicalization Occur?

  • Individual circumstances and personal factors can heighten the vulnerability of individuals who may be exposed to or independently consume radical messaging. These factors include but are not limited to family conflict, lack of belonging, involvement in criminal activities, and frustration with political or economic circumstances, among others.

  • Often, the radicalization process is exacerbated by other individuals or a group that amplifies extremist messaging. Peer pressure in these settings can quicken the pace of radicalization and the extreme or violent actions that may accompany it.

  • Research has also shown that strong social networks may act as a buffer against radicalization. For those with weakened or reduced family ties, radicalization often entails forming new relationships with individuals who may have already undergone the process of developing an extremist worldview.

  • Social media can also act as an “echo chamber”, where likeminded individuals air their grievances and recruiters prey on these real or perceived grievances and encourage violence as the only way to fix those problems.

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