An article by Kosta Bovan, Marko Kovačić and Milica Vučković titled “Being mainstream, being radical: how do young people understand radicalism in Croatia“ was published in the journal Šolsko polje, 29 (5-6).
The innovation regarding this paper lies in the fact that for the first time young people’s perceptions about radicalism were studied. Encouraged by the unclear and confusing use of the term radicalisation, the general lack of empirical studies on the topic of radicalisation (Borum, 2011; Dalgaard-Nielsen, 2010), and relying on the existing literature which suggests that young people have been particularly prone to radicalisation (Özerdem & Podder, 2011; Costanza, 2015), we conducted empirical research to reveal what young people in Croatia understand under the term “radical” and what they perceive as elementary characteristics of radical individuals. One of the incentives for this research was to see what young people understand as being radical and what is mainstream from their perspective. To get these answers we conducted six focus groups among young people between 15 and 30 from five Croatian cities and towns. The research confirmed that the radicalisation process is highly context dependent, and it pointed to the presence of a corrosive apathy among Croatian youth. Furthermore, the findings suggested that both mainstream and radical young people were viewed equally negative. In addition, describing a radical person, young people in Croatia confirmed that radicalisation has many different faces and that it can also be non-violent. Therefore, this paper could serve as a starting point for researchers particularly interested in non-violent radicalisation in non-Western contexts.
The article is fully available here.