Islamic and Domestic Radicalization: Does One Size Fit Most?   [open pdf - 689KB]

From the thesis Abstract: "Many studies have examined the process by which Islamic extremists radicalize, yielding three dominant approaches: grievance approach, social media approach, and network approach. However, over the last 20 years, the extremist threat has shifted from international and homegrown Islamic extremism to predominantly right-wing domestic extremism. The last five years have seen some of the highest numbers of fatalities by right-wing extremists recorded. As such, understanding how far-right sympathizers radicalize has become more important. This thesis analyzes three right-wing extremists: Dylann Roof, Patrick Crusius, and John Earnest, focusing on their backgrounds, radicalization history or motivations, and their respective manifestos. This information is then compared to two Islamic radicalization models to determine if key factors of these models help contribute to an understanding of each individual's radicalization. This thesis asks if those theories can be applied to the radicalization process of domestic far-right extremists. Although three case studies may not be sufficient to draw definitive conclusions, the information gathered from each subject and their respective application to the Islamic radicalization models yield a significant correlation to the process of domestic extremists' radicalization. With few alterations to existing models, it is possible to leverage earlier studies of Islamic radicals to understand the process by which right-wing extremists emerge."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
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