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Radicalization: A Relational Perspective

Radicalization: A Relational Perspective


Radicalization is a process of escalation from nonviolent to increasingly violent repertoires of action that develops through a complex set of interactions unfolding over time. Looking at radicalization mainly through the lenses of a relational approach, this article suggests that social movement studies allow us to bridge structural and agentic explanations in an analysis of the impact of political opportunities and organizational resources, as well as framing, in explaining forms of action and inaction. Available political opportunities influence the reactions of political and political actors in general to movement demands, thus affecting social movements’ strategic choices. Moreover, the availability (or lack) of material and symbolic resources affects the choice of radical repertoire. Finally, organizational resources and contextual opportunities are framed differently by social movement actors, in some cases facilitating radicalization. At the individual level, different paths of radicalization are singled out.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

della Porta, Donatella. 2018. "Radicalization: A Relational Perspective." Annual Review of Political Science (May).  https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-polisci-042716-102314

START Author(s): 
Donatella della Porta
Publication URL: 
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