Adam-Troian, J (2021) The French (non)Connection: A Closer Look at the Role of Secularism and Socio-Educational Disparities on Domestic Islamist Radicalization in France. Journal for Deradicalization, 24. 39 - 66. ISSN 2363-9849

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Along with the US, France remains among the most impacted Western countries by Islamist terrorism. To explain radicalization in the French context, researchers have emphasized the country’s specificities such as colonialism and secularism (i.e. “Laïcité”) as risk factors. This “French connection” thesis (FCT) proposes that France experiences abnormally high radicalization rates among its Muslim population due to a radical form of State secularism, specific approach to colonialism (“assimilationist”), and the socio-educational disparities affecting French Muslims. For the first time, we propose to closely examine FCT in light of current empirical research on the determinants of radicalization. First, we demonstrate that FCT relies on a flawed premise: domestic radicalization in France is average relative to comparable liberal democracies. We then show that FCT is not in line with current social-psychological knowledge of the determinants of radicalization (e.g. education, socio-economic disparities) and relies on conflations between confounded societal risk factors (e.g. “radical” secularism as a correlate of far-right ideology). As an alternative to FCT, we conclude that structural discrimination and the recent surge in far-right and Islamist ideologies better account for domestic radicalization in France. We also propose that French historical secularism and colorblind values may actually constitute protective factors to be further investigated.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright (c) 2021 Jais Adam-Troian Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The JD Journal for Deradicalization uses a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND) Licence. You are free to share - copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following conditions: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, andindicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2021 12:17
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 12:17

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