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Motivations for Jihad and Cognitive Dissonance: A Qualitative Analysis of Former Swedish Jihadists
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Sustainability Education Research (SER).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1240-4323
2019 (English)In: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, ISSN 1057-610X, E-ISSN 1521-0731Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study is based on interviews with three former Swedish jihadists, and it uses cognitive dissonance theory to analyze how their motivations for jihad changed—from the early stages of radicalization to fighting as part of a jihadist group and finally leaving jihad. It argues that cognitive dissonance is a causal mechanism, alternative to empathy and collective relative deprivation, that can explain how individuals with collective identities can be motivated to opt for jihad. For none of the interviewees did fundamentalist Islam provide a gateway into jihadism, nor did they seem to use Islam as a mere justification for violent behavior. Cognitive dissonance can also shed light on how motivations change and why some jihadists have not been susceptible to further radicalization by accepting even more radical ideas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Radicalization, Cognitive dissonance, Jihadism, Foreign fighters
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-43797DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2019.1626091Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85067851616OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-43797DiVA, id: diva2:1318473
Available from: 2019-05-27 Created: 2019-05-27 Last updated: 2019-07-12

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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