Can the Significance Quest Theory explain Terrorist Radicalization?

Radicalization and its culmination in terrorism represent a grave threat to the security and stability of the world. A related challenge is effective management of extremists who are detained in prison facilities.

There is a major need to review the significance quest model of radicalization and its implications for management of terrorist detainees. First, we review the significance quest model, which elaborates on the roles of motivation, ideology, and social processes in radicalization.

Secondly, we explore the implications of the model in relation to the risks of radicalization. Finally, we analyze the model’s implications for deradicalization strategies and review preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program targeting components of the significance quest. Based on this evidence, we argue that the psychology of radicalization provides a compelling reason for the inclusion of deradicalization efforts as an essential component of the management of terrorist detainees.




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