Radicalisation: A Marginal Phenomenon, or A Mirror to Society?

8 November 2017. From 18:30 | Workshop | IEMed, Barcelona
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Radicalization is one of the most pressing issues in Europe today. Although the number of terrorist attacks in the region is lower than in other parts of the world such as Africa or the Middle East, the wave of terrorist attacks that the continent has suffered in recent years, especially since 2015, has generated various debates on radicalization and terrorism, often associated with other discussions such as the arrival of refugees in Europe and the treatment of them by the media.

Radical ideas are not necessarily bad. It is often difficult to make a distinction between “good” and “bad” radicalisation, e.g. “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” What is considered radical is historically and culturally bound. In the 1980s, the idea of gay marriage was “radical”, today anyone opposing gay marriage could be labelled “fundamentalist” or “radical”. The prevailing discourse often sees radicalisation as an individual process with ideology as a key driver. However, a recent stream of literature questions some of these key elements. An important element left out of the dominant narratives is the context in which processes of radicalisation and terrorism thrive.

Christiane Timmerman analyzes the causes that lead an individual to radicalize and the need to make a change of narrative to understand the complexity of the radicalization process and to avoid spreading stereotypes to certain communities.



Jordi Pàmies

Professor Universitat de Barcelona

Christiane Timmerman

Director CeMIS



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