Author Biography

Nele Schils (Ms.) is a researcher at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at Ghent University. She is mainly interested in violent extremism and the proces of violent extremism. E-mail: Nele.Schils@Ugent.be

Professor Lieven J.R. Pauwels (Ph.D.) is Professor of Criminology at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at Ghent University. His interests are situated in the domains of the social ecology of crime, theories of crime causation, the study of measurement error in surveys, cross-national comparative research. E-Mail: Lieven.Pauwels@Ugent.be

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.7.3.2

Subject Area Keywords

Nonstate actors, Radicalization, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Violent extremism

Abstract

The principal object of this paper is to study the effects of extremist propensity, exposure to extremist moral settings and their interaction effect on political violence in sub groups by gender and immigrant background. The situational action theory, as outlined by Wikström is used as a framework. Although previous studies have found empirical evidence for this interaction effect in the light of general offending, no study so far has applied SAT to the study of violent extremism. In doing so, we will also address the stability of the interaction effect by gender and immigrant background. The present study is based on a large web survey on self-reported political violence as a measure for violent extremism. Strong support is found for the hypothesis that the effect of exposure to violent extremist moral settings is depending on the strength or weakness of individual violent extremist propensity. This indicates that exposure to violent extremist moral settings has the strongest effect on political violence for individuals with a high propensity to violent extremism. These results imply that SAT can be used to as a framework to explain individual violent extremism. This pattern is found for boys and girls of both native (Belgian) and immigrant background.

Recommended Citation

Schils, Nele and Pauwels, Lieven. “Explaining Violent Extremism for Subgroups by Gender and Immigrant Background, Using SAT as a Framework.” Journal of Strategic Security 7, no. 3 (2014): 27-47.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.7.3.2
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol7/iss3/3

Journal of Strategic Security