Involvement in terrorist activities in Russia and in the world: from psychological to social-psychological factors

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Terrorism is an extremely serious problem of our time: it is a real threat to society and to the existence of humanity as a whole. The purpose of the proposed theoretical and analytical study of the problem of terrorism is to consider the psychological and social psychological factors of involvement in terrorist activities. To achieve the set goal, the authors analyse a number of foreign works and suggest a research line of this problem in order to be able to form a system for monitoring the youth environment. This determines the novelty and significance of this work. The relevance of addressing this complex interdisciplinary problem is explained by the fact that measures to counter terrorism are necessarily based on knowledge of the psychological factors that lead to radicalisation; equally, the development of preventive measures aimed at various groups of the population as well as the creation of programmes for deradicalisation are based on an understanding of the mechanisms of social behaviour. The starting point in the work is the concept of modern terrorism proposed by J. Baudrillard, because this author gives a quite accurate description of the specifics of modern (global) terrorism, which is in harmony with the results of psychological research and concepts that explain why a person takes the path of committing acts of extreme violence. The paper discusses the existence of a terrorist profile and examines the specifics of terrorist motivation. Special attention is paid to the ideas of M. Hogg, in the framework of the uncertainty - identity theory, which outlines the prospects for further development of the problem of terrorism and radicalisation.

About the authors

Boris G. Bovin

Research Institute of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Psychology, is Associate Professor, leading researcher

15A Narvskaya St, bldg. 1, Moscow, 125130, Russian Federation

Pavel N. Kazberov

Research Institute of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia


PhD in Psychology, is senior inspector of the Department of Organization of Psychological Work, Faculty of Educational, Social and Psychological Work

15A Narvskaya St, bldg. 1, Moscow, 125130, Russian Federation

Inna B. Bovina

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education


Doctor of Psychology, is Associate Professor

29 Sretenka St, Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Bovin B.G., Kazberov P.N., Bovina I.B.

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