How do Education and Unemployment Affect Support for Violent Extremism?
This paper represents a contribution to the literature on the relationship between economic development and radicalization or support for violent extremism. It uses survey data from eight Arab countries to analyze how education and unemployment affect support for violent extremism. Previous empirical work has failed to demonstrate any link between unemployment and radicalization. Our analysis shows that, while it seems to be true that unemployment on its own does not impact radicalization, unemployment among the educated leads to a greater probability of radicalization. Hence, our work provides empirical support to the view that relative deprivation is an important driver of support for violent extremism. Individuals whose expectations for economic improvement and social mobility are frustrated are at a greater risk of radicalization.