Survey of the Drivers of Youth Radicalism and Violent Extremism in Serbia
This Research contributes to the comprehensive grasp of the potential of youth radicalization, which could lead to violent extremism in Serbia.
The Research re-affirms that the weak spots in Serbia are societal fragmentation along the ethnic lines, lack of possibilities for young people and especially the role of global and regional politics, which contributes to the conflict potential and represents one of key identified drivers of radicalization. Young Bosniaks and Albanians both perceive religious discrimination, but both minorities and the majority population see themselves as victims of injustice.
The Research also dispels the notion that banalization of violence in media is an important driver of radicalization and acceptability of violence. Also, young people in Serbia feel relatively safe in their local environments, which is a major prerequisite of reducing social tensions.
Across all surveyed regions, it is the youngest respondents – aged 15 to 19 – who are the most vocal and are most likely to engage in violence. Young people are, generally speaking, traditional. They are hopeful and optimistic, but their optimism decreases with age, when they became disappointed and bitter. Young people are by and large mistrustful of social actors and do not believe in equal opportunity for employment in the public sector. At the same time, they do not seek opportunities outside their own region – their “comfort zone”.