Macro approaches to the study of radicalisation and violent extremism: a view from the MENA region

Amina Er-rifaiy
Université Moulay Ismaïl, Meknès
Khalid Mouna
Associate Professor, Université Moulay Ismail, Meknès
22 December 2021

This regional report is the summarised comparative result of research work on the phenomenon of violent extremism (VE) at the macro level. This empirical work has been carried out in three Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, which are part of the CONNEKT project ‒Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan‒ with the aim of understanding the context of the emergence of radicalisation and VE in relation to the seven pre-identified drivers: religion, economic deprivation, political grievances, culture and leisure opportunities, digital literacy, territorial inequalities, and transnational dynamics. The objective is to make a comparison between the three countries of the study in order to note the differences in terms of the actors, such as: state institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs), academics involved in the process of combating radicalisation and VE, as well as the different state and non-state strategies adopted by them.

The importance of the comparison between these three countries and the drivers is to find similarities and differences between them and to place them within a broader context that goes beyond the official state discourse. The comparative method provides a general overview of the MENA region, how states deal with the issue of radicalisation, and how other non-state actors integrate the process of combating radicalisation and VE. The study compares the context of VE in societies ruled by different political regimes: the two monarchies where parliament has an important place (Morocco and Jordan), and the democratic system of Tunisia, taking into account that each political model has its own approach to dealing with radicalisation and VE, and may thus reveal different nuances in the approach and the phenomena itself. In addition, this comparative study aims to capture the different elements of radicalisation at the regional level in order to extract potential policy recommendations with both national and regional implications on the prevention of radicalisation and VE.

This report is included in “MACRO APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF RADICALISATION AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN MENA AND THE BALKANS” (D7.1 of the CONNEKT Project), also available on this website.

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