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Radicalisation: Regional guides



The different pathways into extremist groups varies from region to region. What might be a common theme of radicalisation in Africa won’t necessarily be true for the Middle East. Too frequently there is an assumption that the lessons learned in the West (where a lot of the research on radicalisation is focused) apply elsewhere. But the experiences of Western extremists, whether from political or religious groups are very differently from those in other parts of the world. Understanding the differences, and the push and pull factors of radicalisation in different regions is therefore crucial to understanding the groups themselves.

Interns working for Lancaster University’s Richardson Institute, in partnership with Radicalisation Research, have produced guides to five regions:

  • AfPak (Afghanistan and Pakistan)
  • The Gulf (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Yemen
  • North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia,
  • The Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Israel and Jordan)

These guides are summaries of extant research on each of these regions, and serve as introductions to readers seeking to know more about the local contexts and processes of radicalisation and extremism there. As well as local issues, like the role of the military in Pakistan and sectarianism in the Lebanon the guides also demonstrate the way that narratives of extremism often tap into globalised narratives such as the role of the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its military presence in Saudi Arabia and other countries throughout the region.

The guides and the topics they cover are listed below. They can be downloaded for free from the Richardson Institute website

Exploring radicalisation in the AfPak region
Finn Redman, Ludovica Di Giorgi, Amreen Qureshi, Tristan Cotterill

  • Historical Context
  • Domestic Policies and State Funded Terrorism
  • Socio-Economic Issues
  • International Relations and Foreign Policy

Exploring radicalisation in the Persian Gulf
Antoine Hawath, James Gillies, Rosamund Mutton, Robert Pilkington

  • External Intervention in the Persian Gulf as a Cause of Radicalisation
    • British Protectorates
    • USA Presence
    • Export of Arms
  • The effect of Wahhabism in the Persian Gulf as a Cause of Radicalisation
  • Demographics
  • The Politicisation of Wahhabism
  • Funding of terrorism in the Persian Gulf as a Cause of Radicalisation
    • Private Donors
    • State Failure to Prevent Funding for Terrorists
    • Reasons for Private Donations
  • Geopolitics as a Cause of Radicalisation
    • The Effects of Saudi Arabian-Iranian Relations
    • Effects of Saudi & Qatari contending foreign policies on extremism

Exploring radicalisation in the Levant
Emily Tarbuck, James Meehan, Jonathan Parker and Khadiga Khadr

  • Sectarianism
  • Identity Incongruence
  • State Sponsorship
  • Socioeconomic Conditions

Exploring radicalisation in North Africa
Asma Hanslod, David Galij, Federica Pisanu, Filipp Miroshnichenko

  • Religious Extremism
  • Authoritatian Rule
  • Poverty
  • Human Rights Abuses

Exploring radicalisation in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Religion
  • Al-Qaeda and War on Terror
  • Diversity
  • Economics
  • Corruption
Thanks are given to the authors of these guides and Dr Simon Mabon, Director of the Richardson Institute and Lucia Ardovini for overseeing these projects and the production of these reports. For more information about the Richardson Institute and its intern programme see here. To read the reports, either click the individual links above, or here.

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