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The Quest for Significance Model of Radicalization: Implications for the Management of Terrorist Detainees

Authors

  • Michelle Dugas B.A.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
    • Correspondence to: Michelle Dugas, B.A., Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, 1147 Biology-Psychology Building, College Park, MD, 20742, U.S.A. E-mail: mdugas@umd.edu

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  • Arie W. Kruglanski Ph.D.

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
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Abstract

Radicalization and its culmination in terrorism represent a grave threat to the security and stability of the world. A related challenge is effective management of extremists who are detained in prison facilities. The major aim of this article is to review the significance quest model of radicalization and its implications for management of terrorist detainees. First, we review the significance quest model, which elaborates on the roles of motivation, ideology, and social processes in radicalization. Secondly, we explore the implications of the model in relation to the risks of prison radicalization. Finally, we analyze the model's implications for deradicalization strategies and review preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program targeting components of the significance quest. Based on this evidence, we argue that the psychology of radicalization provides compelling reason for the inclusion of deradicalization efforts as an essential component of the management of terrorist detainees. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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