The Necessity to Recognize Processes of Radicalization from a Socio‑cultural Perspective

by Dr. Ayşenur Benevento


Accepted: 20 April 2021

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature


The current paper investigates Psychoanalytic, Cognitive, Behaviorist, and Sociocultural theories and critiques how they have (or might have) contributed to the study of radicalization. The paper asserts two arguments that lack emphasis in the current radicalization research: 1) radicalization refers to a process, and does not always refer to violent behavior; 2) radicalization research needs to pay tribute to socio-cultural, political, and historical context while designing research and discussing fndings. These two points are essential to extend the concept of radicalization and to be sensitive to diferent research contexts and populations. Currently, the conceptualization of radicalization appears to be generalized to violent action among minority groups (mainly Muslims) in limited contexts (mostly Western countries). The article claims that Psychology can better contribute to this diverse feld of interest with its well-established theoretical contributions to the understanding of human beings and its compassion to seek diferences amongst people across diferent contexts.


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