Europe in the World

The role of ideology in extremist violence and terrorism: What drivers? What solutions?

26 October 2017


Radicalisation and violent extremism, of all political and religious colour, pose a constant threat to the security of citizens and societies in Europe, the United States and beyond. The recent terrorist attacks in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Spain and the US have underlined the necessity to better understand and counter the jihadist extremist discourse and the various operational mechanisms that generate and sustain such phenomena. At the same time, xenophobia and racist discourse are used by right-wing movements and some parties across Europe and the US to justify extreme ideas and forms of violent discrimination, generating in turn a vicious cycle between different forms of extremism, sometimes extending to certain far-left components of the political spectrum. At this Policy Dialogue, a panel of experts discussed the role of ideology in the radicalisation process, its key drivers and how these manifest in extremist violence and terrorism, the challenges to society and governments across Europe and possible solutions.

Speakers included: Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Bulcsú Hunyadi, Senior Political Analyst, Political Capital, Oren Segal, Director of the Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League, Alexandra Stein, Writer and Educator on social psychology of ideological extremism, Amer Al Sabaileh, Political Analyst, University Professor, Columnist, Roberta Bonazzi, President, European Foundation for Democracy.