Understanding Political Radicalization: The Two-Pyramids Model

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Abstract

This article reviews some of the milestones of thinking about political radicalization, as scholars and security officials struggled after 9/11 to discern the precursors of terrorist violence. Recent criticism of the concept of radicalization has been recognized, leading to a 2-pyramids model that responds to the criticism by separating radicalization of opinion from radicalization of action. Security and research implications of the 2-pyramids model are briefly described, ending with a call for more attention to emotional experience in understanding both radicalization of opinion and radicalization of action.

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