Causes of violent extremism

There are several ways to analyze the factors that can influence the occurrence of violent extremism. Some focus on the analysis of the context (structural factors), others on the influence of social groups (social factors) and others on the development of individuals (individual factors). Some experts focus on what urges people to violent extremism and what aspects attract (push and pull factors), while others analyze conditions of vulnerability and resilience.

The main thesis is that people who are exposed to violence (direct, structural and cultural) are more likely to react with violence. Structural violence is to be understood as a situation in which the “fundamental human needs” are not satisfied or negatively satisfied. When people and their social environment are exposed to violence and this violence is exercised in a crisis context, the chances of violent reactions increase. According to the concept of Max-Neef, all needs are the same for every person in the world and the great goal is to satisfy all needs and thus the satisfaction to be attained.


1. COLLECTIVE SYNERGISTIC SATISFACTORER: are those that simultaneously satisfy several needs. These satisfactorers are at odds with a dominant competitive logic or coercion.

2. NEGATIVE SATISFACTORERS: The way of satisfying needs harms or prevents the satisfaction of other needs in the medium and long term. This satisfaction also means that others cannot satisfy their needs.

The list on page 18 of the manual shows the basic needs for people and some factors that harm the satisfaction of the needs.

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