Radicalization of the marginalized? Dynamics of Islamist radicalization in Tunisia post 2011
Looking at the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after the so-called Arab uprisings of 2010/2011, only Tunisia seems to be a ‘shining example’ of a successful (beginning of a) transition to democracy. At the same time, the country faces severe challenges, one being Islamist radicalization that is attracting public attention to the country: Since 2011, numerous terrorist attacks occurred and estimated 6.000 Tunisians have left the country to fight in Libya, Syria or Yemen. Furthermore, Tunisians have been playing a leading role in jihadist networks in Europe or have been among the highest ranks of the so-called Islamic State (IS).
In its search for explanations for radicalization, the academic literature offers a broad spectrum of possible reasons, political, religious and socioeconomic marginalization being one of them – a thesis that is found in research on the MENA region, Europe and the United States alike. Yet, while most authors agree that marginalization presents a background against which radicalization may be more likely to occur, an actual in-depth empirical analysis looking at both objectively measurable and perceived marginalization and examining its role in terms of radicalization and steering towards violence is still missing.
In her PhD project, Clara-Auguste Süß examines this connection against the background of social movement research. The dissertation combines two approaches and perspectives: (1) Comparative analysis of radical actors’ frames and narratives (perspective from above – leadership and discursive strategies) and (2) Comparative analysis of local perspectives on marginalization, grievances and spatiality (perspective from below – potential constituencies).
- The Socioeconomic Dimension of Islamist Radicalization in Egypt and Tunisia | 2019
Süß, Clara-Auguste / Aakhunzzada, Ahmad Noor Baheige (2019): The Socioeconomic Dimension of Islamist Radicalization in Egypt and Tunisia, PRIF Working Papers No. 45, Frankfurt/M.
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