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Do Jihadist “Martyrs” really want to die? An emic approach to self-sacrificial radicalization in Pakistan

Abstract : Using a prosopography based on sources which cannot be verified, most academic works on the phenomenon of suicide bombings tend to present a ‘martyr’ who is hyper-motivated to die. This contrasts with the life stories of former recruits from a Pakistani jihadi militia, which show that individual motivations might be less of a puzzle than the social mechanisms of self-sacrificial radicalization. Three types of mechanisms can then be identified: the fuite en avant, the ‘side-bet’ and the desire to belong to a domineering group. This emic approach is also applied to the causes of de-radicalization to suggest, from an ‘upside-down’ perspective, that the act of self-sacrificial violence itself does not always derive from the primary socialization of the militant, or necessarily from a will to die but, often, from collective techniques of creating consent and individual ‘absurd decisions’.
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Amélie Blom. Do Jihadist “Martyrs” really want to die? An emic approach to self-sacrificial radicalization in Pakistan. Revue Française de Science Politique (english - édition anglaise), Sciences Po University Press 2011, 61 (5), pp.867 - 891. ⟨hal-01878846⟩

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