Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 5–6, pp e633–e635 | Cite as

And if there were another way out? Questioning the prevalent radicalization models

  • Cécile RousseauEmail author
  • Ghayda Hassan
  • Youssef Oulhote


Violent radicalization is increasingly conceptualized as a public health issue, associated with psychological distress, a sharp increase in discrimination and profiling, and an increase in hate crime and some types of terrorist acts.

This brief paper addresses the limitations of the current conceptual models of violent radicalization. Beyond understanding the path leading from radicalization of opinion to violent radicalization, it proposes to consider the non-violent outcomes of radicalization of opinions in the current social context and to study these outcomes in multiple settings for both minorities and majorities. Moving beyond the implicit linearity of current models and promoting a systemic vision would help to decrease the actual profiling of targeted communities and support the design of community-based prevention programs structured on these alternative outcomes, and in particular on the emergence of social solidarities in groups expressing discontent with the status quo.

Key words

Violent radicalization prevention theoretical models determinants 


p ]La radicalisation violente est de plus en plus conceptualisée comme une question de santé publique, associée avec de la détresse psychologique, une augmentation importante de la discrimination et du profilage, de même que des crimes haineux et de certains types d’actes terroristes.

Cet article interroge les limites des modèles conceptuels prévalents de la radicalisation violente. Au-delà de la compréhension des trajectoires conduisant de la radicalisation des opinions à la radicalisation violente, il propose de porter attention aux évolutions non violentes de la radicalisation d’opinion, et d’étudier ces évolutions dans de multiples sites en considérant à la fois les dynamiques des majorités et des minorités.

Dans une perspective systémique, dépasser la linéarité implicite des modèles actuels permettrait de réduire le profilage des communautés ciblées et de soutenir l’élaboration de programmes communautaires de prévention, visant à favoriser ces évolutions non violentes, et en particulier l’émergence de solidarités sociales dans des groupes exprimant un mécontentement face à l’ordre social actuel.

Mots clés

radicalisation violente prévention modèles théoriques déterminants 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Rousseau
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ghayda Hassan
    • 2
  • Youssef Oulhote
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Social and Cultural PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Département de psychologieUniversité du Québec à MontrealMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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