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Modeling Radicalization Phenomena in Heterogeneous Populations

Abstract : The phenomenon of radicalization is investigated within a mixed population composed of core and sensitive subpopulations. The latest includes first to third generation immigrants. Respective ways of life may be partially incompatible. In case of a conflict core agents behave as inflexible about the issue. In contrast, sensitive agents can decide either to live peacefully adjusting their way of life to the core one, or to oppose it with eventually joining violent activities. The interplay dynamics between peaceful and opponent sensitive agents is driven by pairwise interactions. These interactions occur both within the sensitive population and by mixing with core agents. The update process is monitored using a Lotka-Volterra-like Ordinary Differential Equation. Given an initial tiny minority of opponents that coexist with both inflexible and peaceful agents, we investigate implications on the emer- gence of radicalization. Opponents try to turn peaceful agents to opponents driving radicali- zation. However, inflexible core agents may step in to bring back opponents to a peaceful choice thus weakening the phenomenon. The required minimum individual core involvement to actually curb radicalization is calculated. It is found to be a function of both the majority or minority status of the sensitive subpopulation with respect to the core subpopula-tion and the degree of activeness of opponents. The results highlight the instrumental role core agents can have to hinder radicalization within the sensitive subpopulation. Some hints are outlined to favor novel public policies towards social integration.
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Serge Galam, Marco Alberto Javarone. Modeling Radicalization Phenomena in Heterogeneous Populations. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2016, 11 (5), pp.1 - 15. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0155407⟩. ⟨hal-03064921⟩

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