- “Sticks and Stones? Connecting Insurgent Propaganda with Violent Outcomes” by Maura R. Cremin, Bogdan G. Popescu. Journal of Conflict Resolution, First Published July 6, 2021
- “The Intractability of Islamist Insurgencies: Islamist Rebels and the Recurrence of Civil War” by Desirée Nilsson, Isak Svensson. International Studies Quarterly, Volume 65, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 620–632, Published: 08 July 2021
- “Online Jihadi Storytelling: The Case of Najm al-Din Azad” by Gilbert Ramsay. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Published online: 12 Jul 2021
- “Assessing the behavioural trajectories of terrorists: The role of psychological resilience” by Emily Corner,Helen Taylor &Caitlin Clemmow. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Published online: 27 Jul 2021
- “Are radicalization and terrorism associated with psychiatric disorders? A systematic review” by Margot Trimbur, Ali Amad Mathilde Horn Pierre Thomas Thomas Fovet. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 141, September 2021, Pages 214-222, Available online 5 July 2021
- “Converting to Salafiyya: Non-Muslims’ Path to the “Saved Sect”” by Uriya Shavit &Fabian Spengler. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 41, 2021, Issue 2, Pages 337-354, Published online: 31 Jul 2021
The risk factors for radicalization and terrorism represent a key research issue. While numerous data on the sociological, political, and criminological profiles of radicalized people and terrorists are available, knowledge about psychiatric disorders among these populations remains scarce and contradictory.
We conducted a systematic review of the literature regarding psychiatric disorders among both radicalized and terrorist populations.
We screened 2,856 records and included a total of 25 articles to generate a complete overview. The vast majority of studies were of poor methodological quality. We assessed three population groups: people at risk of radicalization, radicalized populations, and terrorist populations. The results showed important variations in the prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders depending on the study population and methodology. People at risk of radicalization have been reported to have depressive disorders, but contradictory findings exist. Psychiatric disorders range from 6% to 41% in the radicalized population and from 3.4% to 48.5% among terrorists. Among terrorists, psychiatric disorders are more frequent for lone-actor terrorists than for those in groups.
We were not able to identify a significant association between radicalization, terrorism, and psychiatric disorders in our systematic review. However, some research suggests high rates of psychiatric disorders in subgroups of radicalized people and lone-actor terrorists. Further studies using standardized psychiatric assessment methods are urgently needed.