Rethinking Radicalization Leading to Violence as a Global Health Issue

Miconi, D.; Frounfelker, R.L.; Zoldan, Y. et C. Rousseau (2021)

Innovations in Global Mental Health

online 03 November 2021 | p. 203-220

This chapter presents an overview of the body of literature on radicalization leading to violence. We define violent radicalization and situate the phenomenon in our present socially polarized world, reporting available global estimates of terrorist and hate crime and incidents for both the Global South and Global North. We argue that violent radicalization is a global public health issue that calls for a socio-ecological approach to prevention and intervention and discuss the harmful consequences of applying a security-driven framework to develop prevention programs. We identify the challenges related to measuring and documenting factors that may reduce the overall climate of legitimation of intergroup violence in the general population and subsequently present an overview of multilevel risk and protective factors associated with support to violent radicalization. We then present an overview of existing primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention initiatives in the Global North and Global South. We conclude with a critical discussion of limitations and potential avenues for the future of research and prevention on violent radicalization.