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Radicalization and Variations of Violence - New theoretical insights and case studies
Stiftungen - Sonstige;
Currently, a growing political polarization can be identified in civil society, on political-institutional as well as international level which poses urgent questions for Peace and Conflict research. Especially the connection between radicalization and the use of violence and force is a major object of investigation for science and politics.
While research on violence is one of the foundation piers of Peace- and Conflict Studies, research on radicalization came more recently in the focus. Yet, radicalisation is often understood as a kind of transitional moment between non-violent behaviour and the use of violence.
Then agains, research into violence presents itself with numerous but conflicting definitions of the term violence. Despite their differences, the majority of the violence approaches and definitions are aligned by four essential elements which define violence: behavior that is (a) intentional, (b) unwanted, © nonessential, and (d) harmful (Hamby 2017). A majority of the definitions is closely linked to the violent escalation of conflicts (Enzmann 2013).

Concerning radicalization, it is essential to make two things clear in order to specify the dynamics of radicalisation on the one hand and violence on the other hand. First, radicalisation does not describe a single moment, but rather a process that should not be understood as a spiral of violence with a fixed beginning and an end (Kemmesies/Weber 2019). Secondly, not every radicalisation process leads to the use of direct violence or is linked to the use of direct violence at all (Maurer 2017). Furthermore, radicalisation must be understood as a relational concept that is strongly context-dependent, especially on the political system in which radicalisation and radical movements take place.
Armborst et al. distinguish between three types of radicalisation: (1) radicalisation leading to violence, (2) radicalisation through violence and (3) radicalisation without violence (2018) which is helpful here since the book will focus on all three forms. Thus, we adopt a thematic tripartition of the term and intend to strengthen radicalisation as an analytical tool within Peace and Conflict Studies research.

Initial concepts of radicalization perceived the phenomenon as an individual process through which a single person was transformed from a normal citizen into a budding terrorist (Crone 2016). However, current research criticises linear models of radicalisation and assumes that individuals are involved in radical actions even without extremist preferences (Williams 2019).
In recent years, the research on radicalisation and the use of violence has increasingly been focused on this phenomenon of individual radicalisation (Logvinov 2017) (see e.g. single perpetrator debates and rampages, jihadist radicalisation concepts, radicalisation through individual experience of violence). Individual radicalisation is taking the person through a number of phases from a ‘cognitive opening’, the meeting with an extremist ideology and the internalization of extremist ideas until eventually they reach the end destination: the perpetration of a terrorist attack (Crone 2016). However, deprivation, dissatisfaction and unsatisfied needs can provide factual and objective criteria for analyzing a social situation that contains the potential for the emergence of conflict. This role of social cleavages is strengthened by recent research (Minkenberg 2017).

While radicalization is meanwhile established in research, it is of special interest for our subject to discuss ideas and concepts around deradicalization which is also significant to understand radicalization as well. Scholars criticise that the term "deradicalisation" is used for various phenomena such as Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism, left-wing militant movements and right-wing extremism (Amadeu-Antonio Foundation 2019: 1). Thus, a distinction is made between state and civil society understandings and practices, but also the fluid transitions between prevention and deradicalisation will be pointed out (Berissoun 2014).

Overall, the challenge which remains is to nuance our intellectual understanding of the phenomenon, the better to inform public and political discourse about radicalization and how to prevent terrorism and violent extremism. This book, therefore, will focus on the connection between radicalisation and variations of violence. On the one hand, we define the individual use of violence as an integrated aspect into social and collective radicalisation processes. On the other hand, the book focuses on specific situations of violence as a consequence of radicalisation (Nassauer 2011) while still not excluding radicalization without violence.

To this end, we first address the most pressing issue, the nexus of violence, conflict and radicalization In a next step, we show the relevance of different actors in radicalisation processes for the analysis of dynamics and forms of protest of violence. The third section discusses the role of gender and violence in migration contexts. Finally, the fourth section focuses primarily on deradicalization and forms of prevention. The edited volume allows for a contribution of new insights through case studies in all the four parts.

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