Why do young Europeans suddenly turn to terrorist violence? What are the main causes of radicalization? There are as many answers to these questions as there are different frameworks of analysis. In contrast with the ideological approach developed by Gilles Kepel and to the socio-economic angle privileged by François Burgat, Olivier Roy favours a transversal approach that puts jihadi terrorism into perspective with other forms of modern violence. Denying the Salafi roots of terrorism, O. Roy argues that terrorists are more radicals than Islamists. Narcissist and individualist, European terrorists are first and foremost interested in their own salvation. Islamisation is merely incidental into the radicalization process, O. Roy argues, because terrorists are primarily attracted by the soteriological rewards of martyr. Death, O. Roy claims, has become an objective per se. The event was chaired by Catherine Cornet
Olivier Roy is a Political Science Professor at the European University Institute (EUI) and a Senior Scientific Adviser for the Middle East Directions Programme of the EUI Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. He is an expert on Islam and a prominent figure in the contemporary debates on religion and politics.
The event took place on:
Wednesday 23 November
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia
European University Institute