1st Edition

Peter R. Neumann

Published June 25, 2015
Reference - 1858 Pages - 42 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138791268 - CAT# Y168706
Series: Critical Concepts in Military, Strategic, and Security Studies

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‘Radicalization’ has become one of the great buzzwords of our time. A Google search for the concept produces more than 1,500,000 hits—less than ‘terrorism’ but equal to ‘political violence’ and ‘extremism’. This may seem surprising, given that the term entered the academic vocabulary just ten years ago. Previous generations of scholars had, of course, been interested in why and how people become extremists, but there was no separate field of inquiry which brought together the many political scientists, historians, area studies and terrorism experts, social-movement theorists, and psychologists who had dedicated their scholarly careers—and developed different ideas and approaches—to answering these questions.

The exponential growth of serious literature on radicalization (and the complementary topic of ‘de-radicalization’) has produced a more coherent scholarly field, with academics from different disciplines coalescing around similar questions and engaging in scholarly debates—for example, on the importance of ideology; the role of the Internet, and the contradictory dynamics of counterterrorism policies—that have created a common stock of knowledge from which new debates and lines of inquiry are generated. In short, the concept of radicalization—however ambiguous and ill-defined—is here to stay, and there is now a sufficiently large body of highly rigorous research from different disciplines to make this new Routledge collection of major works particularly welcome. Indeed, it is destined to make a significant contribution to shaping this young and growing field of scholarly research.

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