University of Twente Student Theses


Fighting symptoms or investing in causes? Recognizing and responding to signals of radicalisation using local networks.

Wakeren, J.B. van (2015) Fighting symptoms or investing in causes? Recognizing and responding to signals of radicalisation using local networks.

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Abstract:This research aims to provide insight into the signals indicative of radicalisation that are currently perceived by key actors in the municipality of Hengelo. A literature study with a multi-disciplinary scope was performed in order to come up with a model that incorporates several factors from the literature that are thought to contribute to an individual’s radicalisation process. The model can be used to assess whether an individual is at an increased risk of radicalising. In-depth qualitative interviews were subsequently conducted with 11 key actors that deal with radicalisation in their daily work. Actors from four categories were interviewed: government professionals, school staff, frontline professionals and civil society actors. Additionally, the safety advisor to the mayor in Arnhem was interviewed to compare the results of this study. It turned out that there was substantial agreement on the factors that were included in the model, which, after revision, includes ten components: the social environment, personality issues, a violent interpretation of the faith, a need for excitement, identity issues, feelings of alienation, grievances and moral outrage, social polarisation, relative deprivation and discrimination, and perceived illegitimacy of authorities. When this model was applied to the situation in Hengelo, it turned out that most factors were barely present in Hengelo. However, some interviewees mentioned that they frequently pick up signals of social polarisation and feelings of discrimination. It can be concluded that the threat level in Hengelo is relatively low. Furthermore, although all factors in the model were recognized by at least some interviewees, it was striking that not all factors were recognized by all interviewees, i.e. that each actor has a different perception of the factors that contribute to radicalisation. Most actors are fairly positive about their own ability to pick up signals, there are however considerable challenges in both picking up and responding to these signals. An advice was given regarding the development of a network. The current network, that is used to discuss suspected individuals, can be complemented with a network that includes more actors and has somewhat different goals: sharing knowledge and designing interventions that are not limited to individual cases. Also, contacts between actors from all parts of society that deal with radicalisation can be brought together so that information sharing becomes possible. Key words: early warning system, extremism, jihadism, local governance, radicalisation
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Gemeente Hengelo, Hengelo, Nederland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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