Edited by Gary P. Freeman and Nikola Mirilovic
Chapter 14: Immigrant integration, political radicalization and terrorism in Europe: some preliminary insights from the early millennium (2000–2010)
The growing number of terrorist plots in Western democracies involving foreigners or members of ethnic minorities have stoked national security debates, and have extended to the politics of immigration. Particularly since 11 September 2001, the ‘securitization of migration’ catapulted immigration policy within a counter-terrorism agenda for the liberal democracies (see Lahav 2009). Despite the reliance on immigration policy as a counter-terrorism measure, the effects of immigrant integration policies on security considerations remain elusive. Underlying these concerns are the often jingoistic and taboo but critical questions related to the role of immigrants in manifestations of radicalism and political violence. This chapter attempts to employ empirical metrics to provide a more systematic analysis of the impact of immigrant policies and integration outcomes on the proclivities of foreigners or ethnic minorities to engage in radical and/or violent activities. Wedding the literatures on migration and political violence, we address three core questions. First, what are the characteristics of radical activity and political violence produced by foreigners or ethnic minorities in liberal democracies? Second, is there an association between integration policies and level of migrant involvement in acts of radicalism and/or political violence? Finally, under what conditions may immigrants (including second-and third-generation migrants) be more prone to join radical/ violent groups in Europe?
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