Young people and violent radicalisation

The concerns, as well as the appeal, of violent extremism or radicalisation currently seem to be a growing trend in Europe.

Our differences – beliefs, values ​​and experiences – can lead to conflict when we resolve our disagreements with anger, fear or hatred. Just like prejudice, violence is at the root of physical and social harm.

Though religious and right wing extremism are mostly concerned by public agenda today in Europe, it is worth remembering there are multiple types of extremism:

– ethno-national extremism – mostly associated with visions of a Nation that has just one identity and that doesn’t include different cultures, colours, religions or ideas to them; mostly associated with Fascism or labelled as right-wing extremism

– religious extremism – like Islam has Al Q’aeda, Christianity has the Klu Klux Klan, Judaism has Terror against Terror and Hinduism has Jagaran Manch; is mostly associated with uncompromising use of religion to make strong demands on people i.e. asking people to give up their lifestyles or even their lives in the name of God

– environmental extremism and/or animal rights extremism

– left wing extremism


Experts consider that choice of some young people to support violent extremism is driven by many factors among which:
– a sense of disengagement and marginalization,
– or the pursue of exclusionary ideologies, to rectify real and/or perceived injustice, or to feel part of something larger than themselves µ
– or causes directly related to manipulation or fear.

Whatever the causes it is clear that the motivation of young people do not differ all that much from other age groups, and that it is young people who are a big part of the solution to solving the rise of extremism in Europe, as they have always been.


from the Council of Europe:

from the European Youth Forum:

Click to access The-Role-of-the-Youth-Sector-in-Preventing-Violent-Extremism.pdf