“The Islamo- Occidental Ecological Niche,” The Matrix of Islamist Radicalization

Feature Section “Radicalization”
By Thierry Lamote, Fethi Benslama

The last decade has seen a profusion of works produced on radicalization. These include both scientific studies and recommendations from experts designed for policies of support and prevention. However, the current state of play shows that these studies, which are as much theoretical as practical, do not say anything about the processes that constitute the foundation of the radicalized subject’s convictions, nor about the mechanisms that lead him or her to give up these convictions, or that culminate in their resistance. Here lies precisely the goal of our exploration. Founded on a clinical approach of analytical orientation, it aims to examine, through an analysis of the implied psychological processes, the link that each “radicalized” subject maintains with his or her belief, the singular context that incited him or her to adopt it in this way, along with the modalities through which he or she might be led to give it up, once it has become obsolete in regard to the discontent, even the psychical troubles, that it was supposed to resolve. To carry through this work, we will locate the psychological processes that interest us on the different scales of the human realities in which they are contained: the macro level (contemporary civilization), the meso level (local cultures with effects of “niche ecology”), and the micro level (the individual or the subject).


  • radicalization
  • ecological niche
  • psychological processes
  • symptom
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