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Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Risk Factors, Causes and Threat Assessment

April 26 - April 27

The focus of the workshop is on identifying risk factors, causes and drivers of radicalization, including the role of self-uncertainty, small group dynamics, personality profiles, criminogenic factors, mental health issues as well as social-ecological characteristics of the surrounding environment. At the same time the workshop seeks to address the question of how empirical evidence on risk factors and causes of radicalization should/are informing threat assessment tools and policies of prevention and interdiction in the area of countering violent extremism. The workshop explores these questions in the context of all forms of violent extremism; lone actors and group-based; religious and politically motivated; domestic and foreign fighting. Core issues to be addressed include:

  • Conversion, group new-comers and status seeking
  • Interaction between personality and self-uncertainty in radicalization
  • Appropriateness of existing risk assessment tools of violent extremism
  • Overlap between criminal and extremist milieus – the uniqueness of risk factors of violent extremism
  • Neighborhood effects on the emergence of radical groups in some localities rather than others
  • Enclave deliberation, group polarization and self-uncertainty reduction
  • Effectiveness of civic engagement encouragement and other principles in counter-radicalization work
  • Systematic differences/similarities between various forms of radicalization and violent extremism

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together leading scholars in the area of terrorism and security studies, the psychology and social psychology of extremist violence and political aggression, criminology and sociology of violence for an inter-disciplinary exchange of views on empirical research findings, their implications for threat assessment and policies and future research projects and ideas. The format of the workshop will be a mix of presentations and plenary discussions in a relatively small setting of invited participants (about 15).


April 26
April 27
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Global Security Hub
Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies