The Psychology of Radicalization and Terrorism

Routledge
Free sample

Terrorism and radicalization have a long history, but in recent years their prominence has been a particularly conspicuous and influential feature of the global political landscape. This important book presents an overview of the processes involved in radicalization and terrorism, and introduces a systematic framework which captures the most crucial individual and social factors involved in determining these processes.

The authors begin by considering the possible role of prejudice, economic deprivation, and discrimination, and the cognitive responses and emotions they can trigger. Such responses tend in turn to increase the importance of group membership, and promote intergroup differentiation and polarization, a process which is often accompanied by more pronounced and more extreme religious and ideological beliefs. The book also describes the role of cultural values and social climate in processes of radicalization, as well as the role of personality factors and demographics such as age and marital status.

As for violent terrorist action itself, this final most radical stage is elicited by a number of group factors such as groupthink, isolation, and leadership. Certain cognitive mechanisms – for example, dehumanizing the target and attributing responsibility elsewhere – can also provide excuses for violence. The book explores why some groups turn to violence and others don’t, and it addresses processes of disengagement, deradicalization programs, and other methods used to inhibit the spread of radicalization and terrorism.

The Psychology of Radicalization and Terrorism

takes a unique and systematic approach to a vital topic, integrating knowledge from diverse literatures, and using social psychology as a basis for comprehending human behaviour. It will be essential reading for students and researchers from all disciplines seeking a greater understanding of terrorism and violent political conflict in all its forms.
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About the author

Willem Koomen has been affiliated with the Department of Social Psychology of the University of Amsterdam since 1963. His research interests include social cognition, and particularly stereotyping and stigmatization.

Joop van der Pligt was a professor in social psychology at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests pertained to attitudes, perceived risk and affect in relation to decision making. He died in 2015, when this book was almost completed.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Nov 19, 2015
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9781317677024
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Terrorism
Psychology / Social Psychology
Social Science / Violence in Society
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book provides a broad and contemporary overview of aggression and violence by some of the most internationally renowned researchers in the field. It begins with an integrative theoretical understanding of aggression and shows how animal models shed light on human aggression and violence.

Individual risk factors for aggression and violence from different research perspectives are then examined. First, there is a cognitive neuroscientific, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological study of the brain. It then explores the developmental psychological factors in aggressive behavior, incorporating work on gender and the family. Other perspectives include the role of testosterone, individual differences, and whether humans are innately wired for violence.

The following sections moves from the individual to the contextual risk factors for aggression, including work on the effects of adverse events and ostracism, guns and other aggressive cues including violent media, and drugs and alcohol.

Targets of aggression and violence are covered in the next section, including violence against women and loved ones; aggression between social groups; and the two very contemporary issues of cyberbullying and terrorism.

The book concludes with work showing how we may make the world a more peaceful place by preventing and reducing aggression and violence.

The volume is essential reading for upper-level students and researchers of psychology and related disciplines interested in a rigorous and multi-perspective overview of work on aggression and violence.

'Ethnic cleansing', 'institutional racism', and 'social exclusion' are just some of the terms used to describe one of the most pressing social issues facing today’s societies: prejudice and intergroup discrimination. Invariably, these pervasive social problems can be traced back to differences in religion, ethnicity, or countless other bases of group membership: the social categories to which people belong.

Social categorization, how we classify ourselves and others, exerts a profound influence on our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. In this volume, Richard Crisp and Miles Hewstone bring together a selection of leading figures in the social sciences to focus on a rapidly emerging, but critically important, new question: how, when, and why do people classify others along multiple dimensions of social categorization? The volume also explores what this means for social behavior, and what implications multiple and complex perceptions of category membership might have for reducing prejudice, discrimination, and social exclusion.

Topics covered include:

the cognitive, motivational, and affective implications of multiple categorization

the crossed categorization and common ingroup methods of reducing prejudice and intergroup discrimination

the nature of social categorization among multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual individuals.

Multiple Social Categorization: Process, Models and Applications addresses issues that are central to social psychology and will be of particular interest to those studying or researching in the fields of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

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If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
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