Academic wisdom states that there is no single pathway to radicalisation and terrorism. How could any single framework account for the seemingly infinite variation of psychological features, political grievances, personal motives, social settings, historical conditions and life circumstances implicated in the trajectories of terrorists? Put like that, working towards a general model seems to be a futile endeavour. The alternative, however, is problematic: terrorist profiles are notoriously elusive and there is currently no stable set of risk factors associated with radicalisation and terrorist involvement. In fact, evidence suggests indicators are context-specific and multifinal, challenging practitioners tasked with risk assessment. Using evidence from a 3-year EU-funded study of lone terrorism actors, Noémie Bouhana will speak about her work developing a general, cross-ideology model of radicalisation, suggesting a way forward for individual terrorism risk analysis.
This is the second instalment of the new lecture series ‘Frontline research on terrorism’ at the Hertie School. The threat of terrorism is widely seen as one of the most pressing issues of our times. Yet the debate continues to be dominated by rumours, subjective opinions and emotions, rather than scientifically established facts. To strengthen the basis for political decision making, the event series aims to provide a realistic view of current and future scenarios based on the scientific findings of experts who study terrorism.