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Identity and Islamic Radicalization in Western Europe

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  • S Mansoob Murshed

    ()
    (Institute of Social Studies)

  • Sara Pavan

    ()
    (Institute of Social Studies)

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that both socio-economic disadvantage and political factors, such as the West’s foreign policy with regard to the Muslim world, along with historical grievances, play a part in the development of Islamic radicalized collective action in Western Europe. We emphasise the role of group identity based individual behaviour in organising collective action within radicalized Muslim groups. Inasmuch as culture plays any role at all in radicalization, it is because individuals feel an imperative to act on the basis of their Muslim identity, something to which different individuals will attach varying degrees of salience, depending on how they place their Muslim identity based actions in the scheme of their multiple identities. We also emphasize the role of the opportunistic politician, from the majority European community, in fomenting hatred for Muslims, which also produces a backlash from radicalized political Islam. We present comparative evidence on socio-economic, political and cultural disadvantage faced by Muslim minorities in five West European countries: Germany, the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

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    File URL: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP16_MM_SP.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict in its series Research Working Papers with number 16.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:16

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    Keywords: Peacekeeping; Identity; Radicalization; Clash of civilizations; Terrorism;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
    2. Frances Stewart, . "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," QEH Working Papers qehwps33, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    3. Addison, T. & Murshed, S.M., 2002. "Transnational terrorism as a spillover of domestic disputes in other countries," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19130, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86, January.
    5. Syed Mansoob Murshed & Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin, 2009. "Revisiting the greed and grievance explanations for violent internal conflict," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 87-111.
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