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The Three Pillars of Radicalization – Needs, Narratives, and Networks - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks

Arie W. Kruglanski, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, and Rohan Gunaratna


This book identifies the three major determinants of radicalization that progresses into violent extremism, the three Ns of radicalization. The first determinant is the need: Individuals’ universal desire for personal significance. The second determinant is the narrative. Because significance is conferred by members of one’s group, the group’s narrative guides members in their quest for significance. The third determinant is the network: membership of one’s group who validate the narrative and who dispense rewards (respect and veneration) to members who implement it. The quest for significance ... More

Keywords: psychology of terrorism, significance quest, radicalization, deradicalization, violent extremism, political violence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190851125
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190851125.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Arie W. Kruglanski, author
Distinguished University Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland

Jocelyn J. Bélanger, author
Assistant Professor of Psychology, New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Rohan Gunaratna, author
Professor of Security Studies, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research; S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technology University