Far Right and Islamist Radicalisation in an Age of Austerity: A Review of Sociological Trends and Implications for Policy

Prof. Tahir Abbas 13 Jan 2020

This policy brief provides an overview of the sociological issues underpinning the issues of far right and Islamist reciprocal or cumulative radicalisation in the Western European context. That is, these groups radicalise each other by mutually reinforcing their hate, intolerance, or indignation towards each other. The nature of reciprocal radicalisation between far right and Islamist extremist groups reflects a range of sociological phenomena affecting political identities, citizenship, and questions of nationhood in relation to young men experiencing social alienation and cultural discontent. These social fissures can lead to oppositional group formations in a climate of widening structural inequality, political polarisation, and direct structural and cultural racism and racialisation. This paper argues the importance of grasping the landscape of extremism, radicalism, and political violence from below, in particular assessing the importance of local area urban social issues, where the problems of radicalisation are local in the making—and so, therefore, are the solutions.

Read the Policy Brief here.