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2009 | 2 | 2 | 20 – 28

Article title


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Organisation and extremism or how organisation conditions violence

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Globalisation of religion, on the one hand, helps establish constructive dialogue, promotes ecumenism, and supports communication between religions; on the other hand, it activates religious radicalism and extremism. Extremism is a complex problem: its origin varies and the people it involves vary even more. The most common problem when defining terrorism may be the failure to distinguish between assumed terrorist activities and other forms of threatening acts. Another mistake in defining extremism is the fact that it is often connected with one or the other side of the political battle. It is also not surprising that extremism is often identified with revolutionary opposition. This paper studies religious extremism as one of the phenomena of the new religiosity. Two basic approaches can be used to understand behaviour of terrorist organizations: instrumental approach and organizational approach. The first approach is based on the assumption that a terrorist act is a deliberate choice of a political actor. An organization as a unit seeks to achieve collective values, which include radical changes in political and social conditions. Thus, terrorism is interpreted as a response to an external stimulus, especially to a government action. The other approach is focused on internal organizational processes in a group that uses terrorism or between organizations that have similar goals. Subsequently, terrorism presents a result of an organization‘s struggle for survival, particularly in a competitive environment. An organization responds to the external pressure by changing its benefits for the members or by innovations. Therefore, terrorist acts do not always reflect ideological values of the organization directly.


  • Ústav pre vzťahy štátu a cirkví, Ministerstvo kultúry SR, Námestie SNP 33, 813 31 Bratislava, Slovak Republic


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