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The street-jihadi spectrum: Marginality, radicalization and resistance to extremism

Sandberg, S., Tutenges, S. & Ilan, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4080-2898 (2023). The street-jihadi spectrum: Marginality, radicalization and resistance to extremism. European Journal of Criminology, 21(2), pp. 210-230. doi: 10.1177/14773708231182520


For over a decade, jihadi terrorism in Europe, and the recruitment of Europeans to fight for ISIS in Syria, have increasingly involved marginalized youths from a social context of street culture, illegal drug use and crime. Existing theoretical models of the crime-terrorism nexus and radicalization arguably do not sufficiently explain the fluid and dynamic ways by which the street cultural come to be politico-religiously violent. This paper provides a novel retheorization, the street-jihadi spectrum, which is better placed to explain a wide range of behaviours, from the merely stylistic to the spectacularly violent. On the street culture end it includes subcultural play with provocative jihadi symbols and on the jihadi end the terrorism of ‘gangster-jihadists’. We emphasize that the spectrum, consisting of a multitude of confluences of street and jihadi cultures, also includes resistance to jihadism.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0) This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Publisher Keywords: Crime-terror, extremism, ISIS, jihadism, radicalization, street culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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