Violent extremism is a complex phenomenon that is based on promoting and supporting the violence associated with or justified by certain ideological, political, social, or religious visions (Glazzard and Zeuthen 1). During the post-Arab Spring period, the development of violent extremism in Arab countries became associated with a variety of factors, triggers, or drivers. In this context, political, social, religious, and individual factors are discussed as key influences of the progress of violent extremism in Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, among other states (Allan et al. 2; Ranstorp 3). However, it is important to note that the role of communitarian drivers in developing violent extremism is even more influential because these drivers are based on complex community, ideological, cultural, and religious factors that are determined concerning Muslims’ identity and specific group dynamics.
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Statement of the Problem
Although violent extremism can be observed in different states where the Arab Spring movement developed, the drivers for the progress of this phenomenon vary. The problem is in the fact that the development of communitarianism as a theoretical and ideological framework has led to the progress of extremism at all levels in such countries as Libya and Tunisia, among other states. As a result, it is possible to note that specific communitarian drivers can perform as reinforcers for the development of extremist movements in those Arab countries where collective opinions, religious views, and military interests play the key roles in provoking social changes (Allan et al. 3).
The further examination of different communitarian factors that can stimulate the progress of violent extremism in Arab countries is important to understand the main aspects of communitarianism and violent extremism and recommend actions that can be taken by the global community to overcome the problem. The purpose of this research is to examine what communitarian drivers influence the development of violent extremism in Arab countries and discuss how these triggers affect the process. The focus should be on the cases of Libya and Tunisia.
To understand the background and theoretical aspects of the social, political, and military processes that can be observed in many Arab countries during the post-Arab Spring period, it is necessary to refer to such theories and concepts as the Social Movement Theory, the idea of the Double Movement, and the philosophy of communitarianism. According to Borum, the Social Movement Theory is appropriate to explain the progress of violent extremism as a movement that unites people that want to change their society’s structure (17). This process can be based on the irrational, ideologically motivated, and radical collective behavior of a large group of people, and many individuals may want to join this movement to contribute to changes.
In the context of the Arab Spring’s consequences, researchers also discuss violent extremism as a reflection of the Double Movement concept (Salamey 32). The Double Movement is a specific situation that occurs when people choose certain changes and then focus on the protection from these changes. After achieving certain political and social results during the Arab Spring, extremists in Arab countries became oriented to further actions that seem to contradict the changes. Furthermore, the discussion of communitarian drivers is almost impossible without understanding the idea of communitarianism. This philosophy supports the vision that individuals in the Arab world are focused on developing their communities and social ties. As a result, when some groups of people begin to express radical ideas and emphasize their importance for a community, Muslims united by religious, social, and ideological principles are inclined to support these ideas (Salamey 54).
The following research question is formulated to be answered in this study: How can specific communitarian drivers contribute to the development of violent extremism in Libya and Tunisia?
A qualitative research design is selected for this study because of the necessity to discover what specific communitarian drivers can influence the development of extremism in different countries and how the impact of these drivers can affect the situations in Libya and Tunisia. In the context of qualitative research design, a comparative case study approach should be selected with the focus on examining different communitarian drivers that can be associated with the progress of violent extremism in Libya and Tunisia. Much attention should be paid to comparing communitarian drivers and extremist movements in these two countries with the help of case study analysis tools (Bartlett and Vavrus 24). Data collection methods that are appropriate for this study are the literature review and document analysis because of the necessity to use secondary research. The interpretation of the data will be realized concerning qualitative research techniques applied to the comparative case study analysis.
While focusing on the research question, it is possible to expect that communitarian drivers will play a key role in the development of violent extremism in Libya and Tunisia. Furthermore, it is important to assume that these drivers are rather similar. The reason is that these countries have the same ideological and religious background for the progress of violent extremism. However, it is also possible to expect that the findings regarding the priority of drivers that provoke the development of violent extremism will be different because according to the principles of communitarianism, specific social and ideological factors influence the formation of communities that share the same values are often unique. The focus will be on the fact that in the Arab world, communitarian drivers are usually similar, and their impact on the development of certain movements is significant because of the nature of the Islamic society, which is focused on sharing values and supporting collective ideas.
The following steps should be completed to conduct the study for two weeks:
- Identify a problem and review literature – Days 1-4.
- Select methodology and write a research proposal – Day 5.
- Conduct comparative research and case study analysis – Days 6-9.
- Analyze the data – Days 10-11.
- Write the thesis – Days 12-13.
- Proofread the thesis – Day 14.
Allan, Harriet, et al. Drivers of Violent Extremism: Hypotheses and Literature Review. Royal United Services Institute, 2015.
Bartlett, Lesley, and Frances Vavrus. Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach. Routledge, 2016.
Borum, Randy. “Radicalization into Violent Extremism I: A Review of Social Science Theories.” Journal of Strategic Security, vol. 4, no. 4, 2011, pp. 7-37.
Glazzard, Andrew, and Martine Zeuthen. Violent Extremism. Government and Social Development Resource Centre, 2016.
Ranstorp, Magnus. The Root Causes of Violent Extremism. RAN Centre of Excellence, 2016.
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Salamey, Imad. The Decline of Nation-States after the Arab Spring: The Rise of Communitocracy. Taylor & Francis, 2016.