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Title: Ideology and Radicalisation: Applying Hannah Arendt’s Criteria of Ideology to Conceptualise Elements of the Mindset of the Islamic Radical
Authors: Ahmad, Mubarak
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: A violent and complex phenomenon referred to by many observers as Islamic radicalisation has affected certain individuals linked to Muslim societies. Research studying Islamic radicalisation has been trying, through different frameworks, to construct a standard profile of a typical Islamic radical, but without success. This thesis argues that the violent Islamic radical is an abstract, political person comprising of the Arendtian ideological mindset and, hence, may be identified as an Islamic ideologue. The study develops and applies a novel theoretical framework to conceptualise the mindset of the central character of Islamic radicalisation. In Part One, I glean five essential elements of an ideological mindset from Hannah Arendt as my theoretical framework, namely: the superhuman source as origin of thought; the claim to global domination; violence and the call for action; the objective enemy; and rejection of factual reality. I follow Hans Joerg Sigwart who developed the method “characterology” from Arendt to conceptualise a character from the discursive practices of six online magazines (4 English and 2 Urdu) published by Al-Qaida (AQ), Islamic State (IS) and Tahreek-e-Taliban (TT). In Part Two, I apply the Arendtian framework to this unique set of empirical material. I conduct a thematic analysis technique to detect, quote and analyse exemplary texts from the magazines that resonate with the Arendtian theoretical articulations of the five elements of an ideological mindset. The research affirms that all five Arendtian elements are part of the character’s mindset that has been discursively constructed by these three Islamist organisations. The study also summarises the ideas/themes detected through the Arendtian framework and used by the organisations to create a conceptual tool entitled ‘The Map of Ideas Linked to Islamic Radicals’ (MILIR). MILIR can act as the standard profile of the abstract person known as Islamic radical. It can also inform deradicalisation policy.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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