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Individual and Environmental Explanations for Violent Extremist Intentions: A German Nationally Representative Survey Study

Rottweiler, B; Gill, P; Bouhana, N; (2021) Individual and Environmental Explanations for Violent Extremist Intentions: A German Nationally Representative Survey Study. Justice Quarterly 10.1080/07418825.2020.1869807. (In press).

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Abstract

This study examines individual differences in violent extremist intentions. It combines key criminological theories and concepts including situational action theory, social learning theory, self-control, general strain theory and legal cynicism. We employ a conceptually integrated approach to studying extremism, which acknowledges the profound effect of person-environment reciprocity and, thereby, we aim to identify key individual, developmental and social mechanisms involved in the development of extremist propensities. The analytical framework is tested using structural equation modeling. The analysis is based on a German nationally representative survey (N = 1502) collected via Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Representativity of the sample was achieved via a systematic and controlled approach of a multi-stratified probability sample (random-digit-dialing) in the dual-frame mode (landline telephone- households and mobile phone users). Results highlight that low law-relevant morality, low self-control, and exposure to extremism-promoting settings are associated with individuals’ readiness to engage in violent extremism. The relationship between legal morality, self-control and violent extremism is further mediated by exposure to extremist peers. We thereby identify exposure to extremist settings as a key mechanism, which stresses the importance of including social environmental factors in the explanation of violent extremism. The proximate determinants are further related to a series of distal factors, such as perceived individual and collective strains and personal alienation.

Type: Article
Title: Individual and Environmental Explanations for Violent Extremist Intentions: A German Nationally Representative Survey Study
DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2020.1869807
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2020.1869807
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: exposure to extremist settings, legal cynicism, self-control, structural equation modeling, violent extremism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118806
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