This report summarizes the presentations and discussions at an international conference (July 2015) of researchers and government officials that examined lessons learned from research on radicalization and violent extremism, based on findings from research programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In addition to highlighting the latest results from scientific studies on radicalization to violent extremism, the conference provided researchers and practitioners the opportunity to discuss how the findings can be applied in the field, as well as to identify questions and challenges that remain. In numerous plenary and breakout sessions, researchers highlighted the latest findings on the processes of radicalization to violent extremism, the risk and protective factors associated with radicalization to violent extremism, and how violent extremism can be prevented and countered. Practitioners discussed the programs they have developed and implemented, along with some of the challenges they face. The overall outcome of the conference was a better understanding of the state of current research and the identification of questions yet to be answered. Although few researchers at the conference presented full-scale models of the process of radicalization to violent extremism, they discussed specific facilitators of the radicalization process supported by research data and analyses. Among the risk factors for radicalization are connections with violent extremists in an individual’s social network; identity processes; violent extremist belief systems and narratives; group dynamics; connection with violent extremists and violent extremist material through the internet and social media; and grievances. Researchers also emphasized that the process of radicalization to violent extremism generally involves multiple facilitators and may vary by individual, group, type of belief system, and context. 6 tables and appended agenda
Date Published: July 1, 2015
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