terrorism, radicalization


To understand the conditions and experiences that might make an individual more vulnerable to terrorist radicalization, this study examines a sample group of Muslim's in Great Britain to determine if responses to survey questions on a range of issues and perceptions can provide indications of an individual's vulnerability to terrorist radicalization. Key to this process was the development of a vulnerability to radicalization score that allowed for an analysis of the relationship between this score and different independent variables. The dataset for this study was obtained using the Pew Research Center's Spring 2006 Global Attitudes Project 15 Nation Survey. This survey contains a significant oversampling of Muslim respondents allowing for the statistical analysis of potential vulnerability. It is important to understand that this analysis does not provide any indication of radicalization, but a vulnerability based upon accepted theories discussed in terrorism literature. The testing of commonly held theories regarding terrorist radicalization produced a very different picture from what has been viewed in the past. New findings include a previously unrecognized quantity of women who are potentially vulnerable to radicalization. Additionally, income and education do not seem to play the pivotal role that is usually expected, and analysis indicates there is a link between the perceptions of actions by the United States government in the war to combat terrorism and the respondents' vulnerability to radicalization. Recommendations are for the refinement and expansion of this study to include the remaining Western European democracies that were sampled and the United States in order to perform a comparative analysis proving a broader understanding regarding the vulnerability of Muslims to terrorist radicalization in Western Democracies.


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Graduation Date



Houghton, David


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Sciences


Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science








Release Date

November 2011

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)