Domestic Radicalization to Violent Extremism

Insights from Family and Friends of Current and Former Extremists


A wide variety of violent extremist groups have proven highly successful at radicalizing and recruiting Westerners to their causes.

RAND is partnering with Parents For Peace to research the characteristics of people who have been radicalized as well as their paths to radicalization (and in some cases de-radicalization). This will involve speaking with the friends and family of former radicals as well as former radicals themselves.

This information will help identify risk factors for radicalization, assist in recognizing warning signs, and inform the development of interventions designed to prevent extremism. It will also help tailor ongoing efforts to assist the family and friends of those who are concerned their loved ones may be at risk for radicalization.

Research Goals

  • Identify the personal characteristics that may be common among those who have radicalized in the past
  • Understand the pathways to radicalization to discern commonalities
  • Learn from family and friends about the impact that radicalization of their loved one has had on their lives, and how they could have been better supported during the radicalization of their loved one


The study will be carried out in 2019 and results will be published in 2020.