Conceptualising violent extremism
Ontological, epistemological and normative issues
in Encountering extremism
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Although violent extremism is now considered a severe security threat in many countries, the term remains vague and contested. This chapter explores primarily how Weber’s theory of the ideal type can be used as a way of maintaining the ontological, epistemological and normative commitments of Critical Terrorism Studies in relation to research on violent extremism. It will be argued that the ideal type provides an ontologically and epistemologically coherent and consistent research methodology, which is compatible with emancipation as the normative commitment of Critical Terrorism Studies. The chapter provides an example of how ideal types of terrorism and violent extremism can be constructed.

Encountering extremism

Theoretical issues and local challenges


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