Radicalization and Political Violence – Challenges of Conceptualizing and Researching Origins, Processes and Politics of Illiberal Beliefs
Keywords:radicalization, political violence, non-violent radicalization
Recently, radicalism and radicalization have been gaining a great deal of public attention and are considered one of many signs of political crisis. Yet, this belies the ambivalence of these terms. The present article argues for a broader understanding of radicalization in order to explore the entire spectrum of radicalization phenomena: from radicalization without violence to radicalization into violence and radicalization within violence. A broader concept helps to ensure that radicalization is not conflated with situations marked by imminent threats of violence, which too often result in the curtailment of civil liberties and forms of social and political stigmatization. In addition, a broader understanding can open a discursive and regulative space in the area of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.