The Situational Action Theory of crime submits that law-related morality, the ability to exercise self-control, and exposure to criminogenic settings are key predictors of both regular criminality and violent extremism. Indeed, morality and self-control were found to be significantly correlated with violent extremism, and especially right-wing inspired violence. However, while the effect of criminogenic exposure on crime has been established, its effect on violent extremism remains to be examined. Moreover, it is unclear whether morality, self-control and exposure can predict not only violent, but also non-violent extremism. The current study addresses the recent call to differentiate extremism from violent extremism, by examining how morality, self-control and criminogenic exposure affect both outcomes. To do so, we utilize a random sample of 684 young adults (age 19, 50.1% female) in Peterborough, UK. We find that exposure to criminogenic settings is a key factor in understanding the potential for violent extremism, and suggest pathways for further investigation.
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- Situational Action Theory
- criminal pathways
- political violence
- right-wing extremism