Civil actors’ role in deradicalisation and disengagement initiatives

When trust is essential

Authored by: Tina Wilchen Christensen

Routledge Handbook of Deradicalisation and Disengagement

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138229969
eBook ISBN: 9781315387420
Adobe ISBN:


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Based on ethnographic interviews 1 with around 50 individuals who have participated in radical and/or violent right- or left-wing groups in Northern Europe (Christensen 2009, 2015, Christensen & Mørck 2017), this chapter provides insight into extremists’ experiences and frameworks of understanding and interpretation. It will illustrate why participants in radical and extreme groups represent a difficult target group to reach by initiatives aimed at disengagement and deradicalisation run by state and public actors in North European welfare states and why, as the chapter argues, civil actors per se seem better positioned to gain legitimacy among them.

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