chapter  6
Ideological Shifts
Pages 11

Extremist violent ideologies do not cause terrorism by themselves, even if they are powerful instruments in the hands of eloquent leaders in propelling people towards terrorist actions. The popularity of violent ideologies in some countries and their near absence in others is mostly rooted in structural societal factors. On a psycho-sociological level, however, extremist ideologies nevertheless play an important role in shaping terrorist actions, in addition to motivating members and making violence intelligible and imperative for them.2 The decline of some strands of ideological extremism, and the persistence or growth of others, will therefore be indicators of future trends in terrorism, primarily with regards to modus operandi.