The International Panel on Exiting Violence has organized with Carnegie Corporation of New York and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace two roundtables in New York and Washington D.C mid-November.

Farhad Khosrokhavar, leader of IPEV Group For a Comparative, Anthropological, and Contextualised Approach to Radicalization presents the approach, the results and the recommendations to exit from violence of his working group at Carnegie Corporation of New York, IPEV’s principal grant provider.

Primary findings

  • Almost every country has its specificities in the violence displayed.

French jihadists have some similarities with European ones but there are also major differences. We need to understand these important differences through their country of origin. In many countries people of Morrocan origins switching to violence are over represented while people of Turkish origins are underrepresented and we need to understand the reason. There is a kind of snowball effect amongst those young people.

  • The community is also another factor to look at.

Some communities are cohesive, helping at each other, but some other do not share these characteristics.

  • The question of generation is as much important.

In France a one would say that the second generation is the most dangerous, while this is not the case in Norway or Germany.

  • The urban setting is of paramount significance.

Poverty, school drop-out, high rate of unemployment are factors impacting the subjectivity, and fostering the feeling « to be nobody ». There is thus a social dimension in Europe in terms of radicalization. But a minority of young middle class people are also part of the Jihadists.

  • We need an anthropological, sociological and psychological point of view as statistics can be misleading.

Depending on the way one looks at radicalization and at statistics, the results are different. To understand these statistical data and give meaning to them, we need an anthropological, sociological and psychological point of view.

  • Geopolitics has a role in the process of radicalisation.

The geopolitical situation has also an impact in motivating the potential jihadists. For example, in the United States, the Arab diaspora felt an injustice towards Palestinians.

  • Jihadisation is autonomous to salafism.

Salafism does not systematically lead to Jihadism, but it depends on the islamisation processes in countries. For example, in France there is a discontinuity between these two phenomenon but in United Kingdom there is rather a continuity.

  • False dichotomies have to be rejected.

For example, empirical works show that the two opposite theories of « Islamisation of radicality » and « Radicalisation of Islam » are not accurate, as in France islamisation of radicality may occur more often, while it is not the case in Norway or in Canada. In many countries the two occur successively or jointly.