Transformative radicalization: Applying learning theory to Islamist radicalization

  • Wilner A
  • Dubouloz C
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Abstract

While a consensus has emerged concerning the role radicalization plays in persuading Westerners to participate in terrorism, little research investigates the cognitive processes inherent to radicalization processes. Transformative learning theory, developed from the sciences in education and rehabilitation, offers an interdisciplinary lens with which to study the processes of personal change associated with radicalization. Transforma- tive radicalization explains how triggering factors lead to critical reflection of meaning perspectives and personal belief systems that guide and alter behavior. Using an auto- biographical account of the radicalization process, this study offers a plausibility probe of an inherently interdisciplinary and novel theoretical framework.

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