Does context matter? European-specific risk factors for radicalization

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Abstract

In this study we sought to identify whether risk and protective factors for radicalization can be classed as 'universal' factors or whether they have heterogeneous cross-regional effects. Specifically, we sought to identify whether there were factors which displayed significantly different effects in European contexts compared to other democratic countries. We conduct a confirmatory meta-analysis based on a recent Campbell Collaboration systematic review and meta-analysis (Wolfowicz, Litmanovitz, Weisburd and Hasisi, 2021). Studies were classified as being from either EU or non-EU countries and moderator analysis was used to identify between-region heterogeneity. The analysis was possible for 23 factors pertaining to radical attitudes, 13 pertaining to radical intentions and 4 for radical behaviours. For radical attitudes, the estimates for European studies were significantly larger for Gender, Socio-economic status, and Parental involvement, whereas the estimates for Religiosity, Institutional trust, Integration, and Moral neutralizations were significantly smaller compared to other democratic countries in other regions. For radical intentions, the estimates for Self-esteem was significantly larger for European studies. For radical behaviours, the estimate for Unemployment was significantly larger for European studies than for democratic countries in other regions. Overall, most risk and protective factors for radicalization appear to have 'universal' effects across democratic countries, but there are some factors that may be more relevant for targeting by counter-radicalization in certain contexts. Although European counter-radicalization has often focused on factors such as integration and institutional trust, these factors have relatively small relationships with radicalization, and these relationships are even smaller in the European context compared to democratic countries in other regions. The findings suggest that mitigation strategies, and interventions providing employment opportunities in particular, may be well suited to the European context if the goal is to develop locally-oriented approaches to counter-radicalization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalMonatsschrift fur Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform
Volume104
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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