D7.1 Country Report | January 2024

Authors: Vania Rolon, Nelli Ferenczi, Nachita Rosun, Isabel Holmes – Brunel University London;

Mihai Varga, Volodymyr Ishchenko  – Freie Universitat Berlin

The report synthesises the findings of a survey and 15 country reports (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom). This report argues that research on radicalisation must consider group membership and intergroup context and argues for a processual and relational understanding of radicalisation. Specifically, our findings highlight the importance of felt strong online group identity on radicalisation or support for extremist attitudes. We also find that holding strong beliefs about group hierarchies as an inherent fact of life (social dominance orientation) is an important contributor to endorsing more extremist attitudes. We further find that relational intergroup factors such as the importance of group relative deprivation – to what extent individuals perceive groups they identify with as deprived – can help explain pathways to radicalisation. Other relational intergroup factors, such as beliefs that one’s ingroup is superior to other social groups (i.e., collective narcissism) and perceptions that migrants threaten a country’s resources, welfare, and majority population’s power, all play an important role in predicting endorsement of extremist attitudes. Finally, we also explore an individual’s relational vulnerability to find that for our whole sample, experiencing social alienation, which encompasses felt meaninglessness and isolation, was linked with more significant support for extremist attitudes. Given the largely collaborative nature of D.Rad, the current survey study, combined with the partners’ unique position to understand the current social and cultural contexts of their countries better than any single partner alone could, offers unique insight into the social psychology of radicalisation by situating findings within their sociopolitical and sociocultural contexts, as well as investigating universal experiences of pathways to endorsing extremist ideologies. Importantly, we highlight that the path to radicalisation is not linear but involves the interplay of many relational factors that can buffer or catalyse progression. Studying the journey in progress allows us to understand radicalisation as a social process and situate individuals within meaningful social groups and social experiences.