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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds I think that we need to problematize the term radicalisation and not take for granted that it necessarily means radicalisation to violence or violent extremism. Radicalisation can mean radicalisation towards social justice. It could mean radicalisation towards wanting to change the world, wanting to address some of the grave problems we’re facing such as climate change. So when we talk about radicalisation and we’re thinking in terms of terrorism, we need to be very specific and talk about violent radicalisation. And the thing that distinguishes, for example, just becoming an extremist to becoming a violent extremist is action orientation. So if someone is radicalising to an extreme view, that’s one thing.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second But if someone’s radicalising to an extreme view and then prepared to act on that view, that’s when we have what we would say radicalisation to terrorism. And we need to be specific about that when we talk or when we use the term radicalisation, rather than just assuming that if someone is radicalised they’re going to become violent, they’re going to be a terrorist. They may not be at all. They may take on radical views and never act with violence. And that’s actually the most common thing. Most people who become extreme don’t become violent.

From radicalisation to violent radicalisation

Dr. Vivian Gerrand problematises, in this video interview, the concept of ‘radicalisation’, distinguishing it from ‘violent radicalisation’, stressing the importance of using the appropriate term in any given circumstances.

Can you provide an example of a ‘radical’ versus a ‘violent radical’?

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This video is from the free online course:

Religion, Radicalisation, Resilience

European University Institute (EUI)