The study of the profiles of young adults involved in attacks and bombings in 2015 and 2016 in France highlighted a violent rejection of Western lifestyle and national identification. The question arises whether conflicting religious beliefs (religion hypothesis) and delinquent subculture (rebel-without-a-cause hypothesis) characterize a handful of violent attackers only or, rather, reflect social divides in the general youth population. We propose, based on literature, that there are known two features of a pre-radicalization stage: rejection of national community and justification of political violence. We intend to focus on what explains them in France. For that purpose, we use a large representative sample (n = 9.700) of adolescents, and structural equation modeling. Overall, our findings suggest that pre-radicalization reflects larger societal cleavages. Weak identification with the national community in France appears mainly driven by religious identity, and not religious fundamentalism. Justification of violence against outgroups/agents enforcing order is not predicted by religion, neither as belief system nor as identity. The sources of legitimation of violence are mainly found in espousing a delinquent subculture, and repeat exposure to state violence in the form of pretextual police stops.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 email@example.com