What is reciprocal Radicalisation?
Reciprocal radicalisation (and related terms, including cumulative extremism and co-radicalisation) is the idea that extremist groups fuel one another’s rhetoric and/or actions, including violence.
It emerged as a concept after the 2001 riots in Northern England linked to the presence of extremists, and was further embedded following the establishment of the English Defence League in response to demonstrations by Islamist extremists in 2009.
In 2015, reference to reciprocal radicalisation was made in the UK Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy. Despite finding a footing in both academic and policy circles, the empirical evidence for reciprocal radicalisation so far has been mixed.
Analyses suggest that relationships between extremist groups are more complex, and are mediated by the state, digital technology, and the news media.
These briefings were delivered as part of a CREST Workshop on reciprocal radicalisation organised in London in May 2018, and attended by thirty-five practitioners from the UK government, police, probation and the prison service.
Papers and discussion during the day covered topics including interactive escalation of rhetoric and violence between extremist groups, signs and causal factors, the impact of the state, mainstream and social media, and potential opportunities for intervention.
The briefings are also available in a summary report, available to download here.
- Microradicalisations: individuals’ radicalisation journeys, Gavin Bailey, Manchester Metropolitan University
- Understanding ‘reciprocal radicalisation’ as a component of wider conflict dynamics, Joel Busher, Coventry University and Graham Macklin, University of Oslo
- The differences in how Islamists and the Far Right feed off their ‘Other’, Tahir Abbas, Leiden University
- Reciprocal radicalisation – practical examples of Prevent support, Sean Arbuthnot, SMA Prevent Training
- The British Extreme Right, Reciprocal Radicalisation and constructions of the Other, Paul Jackson, University of Northampton
- Reciprocal Radicalisation as a Strategic Choice? A case study of National Action, Samantha McGarry, Lancaster University
- Full report: Reciprocal radicalisation, Kim Knott, Ben Lee and Simon Copeland, Lancaster University.
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