The sophisticated terror attacks that followed 9/11, the Madrid train station bombing in 2004, the murder of Dutch filmmaker Teo Van Gogh in Amsterdam, and the 7/7 attacks on the London transport system in 2005 have demonstrated the urgency of changing perceptions and policies on the new agenda in terrorism and counter-terrorism studies. Following these dramatic events, the literature of terrorism and counter-terrorism boomed and expanded. However, most of the new publications have analyzed the phenomenon of ‘home-grown radicalization,’ which leads to terrorism. Home-grown radicalization refers to the self-starting cell(s) and individual(s) mobilized against their host countries with little or no material support from foreign sources. The onslaught of home-grown radicalization has forged a whole new field of empirical study on radicalization, counter-radicalization, deradicalization, and how to counter violent extremism.
When we look at important aspects of the book, Gambetta and Hertog’s contribution to the theorization and conceptualization of radicalization stands out, particularly in their study of relative deprivation, and the need for closure and in/out group distinction, all of which play an important, determinant role in understanding the relationship between education and radicalism. While Gambetta and Hertog rely on their own sociologist point of view, they seek a different perspective to social newtwork/milleu analysis in the radicalization studies. The book also successfully shows the structural dynamics of different violent, ideological extremist groups, for example, from the women-to-man distribution ratio, to the contrasts among educational disciplines such as medicine, social sciences, and humanities and the law, in three radical-extremist groups.