Over the last 20 years, the world has witnessed a significant increase in violent terrorism, leading prevention efforts against radicalism and extremism to become a top policy priority of countless nation-states. In addressing this challenge questions remain: What motivates individuals to participate in violent terrorism? How do home-grown terrorists come about? What contributes to this radicalization? Focusing on France, the editors and contributors confront this topic from different disciplines, presenting a multidisciplinary and evidence-based understanding of this phenomenon through social psychology, criminology, social science, law, and religious studies. They further analyze the degree to which modern forms of terrorism contrast with past instances. Through 19 chapters, presented in three parts, the authors cover theoretical foundations, the French context of violent extremist causes, and reactions to violent extremism, including official actions to manage and reduce threats, social responses, and the possibility of evidence-based intervention with individual offenders. This is a complex, well-organized, and excellent book that raises important questions and yields useful theoretical and policy implications. It should serve as a guide for similar research regarding other case studies.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals.
— Choice Reviews
Problem-oriented, evidence-based and theoretically-informed, this text sets a benchmark for our understanding of the treatment and management of violent extremism. Academics, practitioners and policy-makers alike will benefit greatly from this edited collection.
— Paul Gill, University College London
This is an outstanding book on an important and difficult subject. The editors and contributors draw on French and international experience to argue for a criminologically informed and evidence-based approach to violent extremism. Recent attacks have featured ‘home-grown’ perpetrators with often quite extensive criminal backgrounds who have much in common with other offenders, so criminological frameworks for understanding and intervention are promising. The nineteen chapters are presented in three sections covering theoretical background, the French context and ‘reacting to violent extremism’, which includes official actions to manage and reduce threats as well as the possibility of evidence-based intervention with individual offenders. The contributors deploy expertise in psychology, social psychology, criminology, political science, sociology, law, religious studies and evidence-based methods, and together they achieve an ambitious and highly successful interdisciplinary. The book draws additional authority from the fact that the editors and many of the contributors were involved in developing an evidence-based program for use with violent and potentially violent extremists, and they provide an account of its design and rationale. They also give a clear description of the real-world obstacles which, as often happens, obstructed full implementation of the program. Overall this unusually comprehensive collection will be an essential resource for researchers, policy developers and practitioners in this challenging field.
— Peter Raynor, Swansea University
Herzog-Evans and Benbouriche have assembled an international panel of scholars that challenge the mainstream perspective of violent extremism as being largely a product of ideological and religious beliefs. The book persuasively argues that terrorists share many of the features of violent criminal offenders and therefore, criminological theories and interventions have much to offer in our understanding of terrorism. Although the title of the book suggests that the content may be more specific to a French perspective of extremism (France is used mainly as an illustration), this edited collection truly has significant implications for the international community. This highly readable book should be required reading for researchers, policy-makers, legislators and anyone interested in this modern threat to social stability.
— James Bonta, Corrections Research, Public Safety Canada and co-author of The Psychology of Criminal Conduct