The concept of 'radicalization' is now used to account for all forms of violent and non-violent political Islam. Used widely within the security services and picked up by academia, the term was initially coined by the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) after the 9/11 and Pentagon attacks, an origin that is rarely recognised.
This book comprises contributions from leading scholars in the field of critical security studies to trace the introduction, adoption and dissemination of 'radicalization' as a concept. It is the first book to offer a critical analysis and history of the term as an 'empty signifier', that is, a word that might not necessarily refer to something existing in the real world. The diverse contributions consider how the term has circulated since its emergence in the Netherlands and Belgium, its appearance in academia, its existence among the people categorized as 'radicals' and its impact on relationships of trust between public officials and their clients. Building on the traditions of critical security studies and critical studies on terrorism, the book reaffirms the importance of a reflective approach to counter-radicalization discourse and policies. It will be essential reading for scholars of security studies, political anthropology, the study of Islam in the west and European studies.
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Nadia Fadil is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre (IMMRC) at Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. She has published extensively in academic journals, including HAU, Ethnicities, Identities, Social Anthropology, Ethnic and Racial Studies and the Feminist Review as well as in edited volumes.
Francesco Ragazzi is Lecturer in International Relations at Leiden University and Associated Scholar at the Centre D'Etude sur les Conflits, Liberté Security (CCLS). He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals including International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue and Political Geography. He has been consulted as an expert on security by the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the French Senate.
Martijn de Koning teaches at the Department of Islamic Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He is also a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He has published in the Journal of Muslims in Europe, Anthropology Today and Contemporary Islam.
Introduction. Radicalization: Tracing the Trajectory of an "empty signifier" in the Low Lands
Nadia Fadil, Martijn de Koning & Francesco Ragazzi
Part I: The circulations of a contested concept
Radicalization. De geboorte van een ambigu conceptThe origins and limits of a contested concept
Turning 'radicalization' into science. Ambivalent translations into the Dutch(speaking) academic field
Nadia Fadil & Martijn de Koning
Considering internal debates on "radicalism" within the Brussels' Islamic community
Part II: De/Radicalization policies on the ground
Foreign fighters on trial. Sentencing risk, 2013-2017
Beatrice de Graaf
Pre-emptive measures against radicalization and local partnerships in Antwerp
Ineke Roex & Floris Vermeulen
Countering Radicalization: Hijacking Trust? Dilemmas of Street-Level Bureaucrats in The Netherlands
Francesco Ragazzi & Lili-Anne de Jongh
(De-)radicalization as a negotiated practice. An ethnographic case study in Flanders
Silke Jaminé & Nadia Fadil
Part III: De/Radicalization and its effects
Routinisation and Mobilisation of Injustice: How to live in a regime of surveillance
Martijn de Koning
Can the 'Muhajir' Speak? European Syria Fighters & the Digital Un/Making of Home
No escape: the force of the security frame in academia and beyond
From convert to radical: making critique illegible
The maze of radicalization: justification and professional interests
Afterword: A De/Radicalised Future
"This tightly organized and superbly edited volume on radicalization reveals the development, application, and effects of the term's post 9/11 adoption in the Netherlands (its point of origin) and Belgium. The book offers a compelling analysis of a key political term for our times, one with broad applicability and implication well beyond Northern Europe. An exemplary analysis for anyone interested in critical security studies, contemporary political and critical theory, and European studies." "A superb collection of critical scholarship that powerfully locates the origins of today's 'age of radicalisation' in discursive shifts in the Netherlands and Belgium over the last twenty years." "In a world increasingly defined, and divided, by a naive and interested opposition between 'democratic citizens' and 'radical terrorists,' this collection interrogates the assumptions that sustain this opposition while providing concrete insight into the histories and politics of de/radicalization in the Netherlands and Belgium. It will be an essential point of departure for scholars and policymakers in the field for years to come."
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