Transitional journeys into and out of extremism. A biographical approach

Stijn Sieckelinck*, Elga Sikkens, Marion Van San, Sita Kotnis, Micha De Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article describes an empirical study into processes of homegrown radicalization and de-radicalization of young people. Researchers in Denmark and the Netherlands set out to answer the question regarding what pathways in and out of extremism (mainly far-right or Islamist) look like “from the inside.” The analysis is informed by grounded theory, based on interviews (N = 34) with “formers” and their family members on their life courses. The study shows that radicalization often concurs with distinct social–emotional developmental challenges that young people face in the transition between youth and adulthood. A practical implication of the marked transitional sequences in these processes is that each type of radical journey may call for a different type of (re) action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-682
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number7
Early online date14 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


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