Radicalization and religion

William Stephens, S.M.A. Sieckelinck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter addresses the major themes and trends in the radicalization literature by highlighting two major strands of thought. The first is more philosophical and focuses on defining and problematizing the meaning and use of radicalization as a concept. The second aims to understand the reasons for radicalization and to suggest and evaluate approaches to preventing or reversing violent radicalization. Many of the problems associated with the concept of radicalization arise from policy responses that focus on tackling secondary factors, rather than addressing the deeper issues at play. Understanding radicalization as an issue that relates fundamentally to identity and agency does not exclude religion as a valid part of an explanation of radicalization. Rather, the framework of identity and agency enables a more accurate understanding of the religious dimension of radicalization, not only in terms of causes, but also in terms of possibilities for intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and European Society
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


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