THEORIES OF RADICALIZATION: FRENCH ALGERIAN MUSLIMS AND INCARCERATION
Halladay, Carolyn C.
Mabry, Tristan J.
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This thesis is a comparative case study of two French Algerians who were radicalized in the French prison system. Social Movement Theory, Social Identity Theory, and Relative Deprivation Theory are applied to their individual circumstances during their time spent in prison on their unique paths to radicalization. Chérif Kouachi, the Charlie Hebdo terrorist, was greatly influenced by his interpersonal network; Social Movement Theory best explains Kouachi's radicalization process. Mehdi Nemmouche's self-identity was altered in prison. When he was released from prison, he traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS before returning home to carry out the terrorist attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum; Social Identity Theory best explains his path to radicalization. French society's unwillingness to welcome French Algerians' integration into French culture creates an environment that fosters radicalization risk factors. Both Kouachi and Nemmouche are French Algerian, have had social or economic struggles, were discriminated against in French society, and spent time in prison for minor crimes. They were both exposed to radical Islam in prison. This comparative case study examines the impact of risk factors on the individual through the application of three radicalization theories. More theories of radicalization can be applied in future case studies to determine similarities between how individual exposure to risk factors differentiates the path to radicalization.
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