Preventing Violent Islamic Radicalization: Experimental Evidence on Anti-social Behavior

Pedro C. Vicente

Universidade Nova de Lisboa, NOVAFRICA, and BREAD

Inês Vilela 

Royal Holloway – University of London, and NOVAFRICA

ISSN 2183-0843
Working Paper No 2008
September 2020


Violence perpetrated by radicalized Muslims is a major problem around the world. We collaborated with the main Islamic authority in Mozambique, which sponsored two randomized interventions to prevent violence related to youth radicalization: a religious campaign against extremist views of Islam, targeting change in beliefs; and a training module on entrepreneurship and employment, aiming to increase the opportunity cost of conflict. Our measurement focuses on anti-social behavior in a Joy-of-destruction lab game. We find that only the religious treatment decreased the propensity to destroy payoffs of others. Consistently, surveys show increased trust in state and decreased support for extremism.

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