New PhD student: Steffen Selmer Andersen

Steffen Selmer Andersen is a new PhD student at the department.

2018.09.06 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Photo: Private

My name is Steffen Selmer Andersen and I’m a new PhD student at the department. I also have a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Aarhus.

My PhD project focuses on the relationship between political legitimacy, radicalization and extremism. Recent events in Spain, UK, Germany, Belgium and France indicate that European governments struggle to eradicate these possible security threats, although they have tried. What drives extremists to use violence? Policy-makers and the current literature argue that this escalation is driven primarily by “dark” characteristics and group-dynamics.

I argue that policies may be perceived as illegitimate similar to state oppression in authoritarian states, thus inducing political grievances and potentially directing individuals and groups down a radicalization-pathway. Consequently, radicalization may increase the risk of violent extremism, through stronger support for violence against the state, development of extremist mind-sets and stronger inclinations “to act”.

Therefore, I argue that perceived political illegitimacy is a root cause instead of just a mechanism to violent extremism.

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