Islamist and Nativist Reactionary Radicalisation in Europe

Acceptance Date: 25 May 2021


In this article, the term “radicalisation” is discussed as a process that appears to be a defensive and reactionary response of various individuals suffering from social, economic, and political forms of exclusion, subordination, alienation, humiliation, and isolation. To that effect, the article challenges the mainstream understanding of radicalisation. In doing so, the work concentrates on the elaboration of reactionary radicalisation processes of self‐identified Muslim youth and self‐identified native youth residing in Europe. The main reason behind the selection of these two groups is the assumption that both groups are co‐radicalizing each other in the contemporary world that is defined by the ascendance of a civilizational political discourse since the war in the Balkans in the 1990s. Based on the findings of in‐depth interviews conducted with youngsters from both groups in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, the work demonstrates that the main drivers of the radicalisation processes of these two groups cannot be explicated through the reproduction of civilizational, cultural, and religious differences. Instead, the drivers of radicalisation for both groups are very identical as they are both socio‐economically, politically, and psychologically deprived of certain elements constrained by the flows of globalization and dominant forms of neo‐liberal governance.