A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Gangs, Terrorism, and Radicalization


What can street gangs tell us about radicalization and extremist groups? At first glance, these two groups seem to push the boundaries of comparison. In this article, we examine the important similarities and differences across criminal, deviant, and extremist groups. Drawing from research on street gangs, this article explores issues such as levels of explanation, organizational structure, group process, and the increasingly important role of technology and the Internet in the context of radicalization. There are points of convergence across these groups, but it is important to understand the differences between these groups. This review finds little evidence to support the contention that American street gangs are becoming increasingly radicalized. This conclusion is based largely on organizational differences between gangs and terror groups.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Decker, Scott H. and David C. Pyrooz. 2011. "Gangs, Terrorism, and Radicalization." Journal of Strategic Security 4 (October): 151-166. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1145&context=jss

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