Effective efforts to counter violent extremism will be better informed by the voices of those who took part in radical organizations as well as their family members and acquaintances. This article details a National Institute of Justice-funded RAND study that captured a sampling of those voices, gaining unique insights that can inform policy and practice recommendations supporting deradicalization and broader efforts to stem extremist violence. Obtaining narratives from individuals formerly engaged in extremism, as well as family members and acquaintances, illuminates how factors often viewed as quantitative in nature have complex, time-dependent, and at times counter-intuitive effects on individual radicalization and deradicalization processes. The narratives also expose novel, causal processes that may be missed by other research methods.
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