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Militant Extremist Radicalization in Malaysia: A Geospatial Analysis

Authors: Samuel Henkin*, University of Kansas
Topics: Political Geography, Applied Geography, Asia
Keywords: Radicalization, Terrorism, Geospatial Analysis, Malaysia, Southeast Asia
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Recent scholarship on militant Islamist radicalization in Southeast Asia highlights the significance of local context in understanding support and recruitment into militancy. While research on terrorism in Southeast Asia engenders a dynamism of epistemic inquiry in diverse areas of research, an empirical mapping of radicalization is generally absent. Research on militant Islamic radicalization in Southeast Asia needs more robust consideration of geospatial relations and data to fill this lacuna. A geospatial analysis is, above all else, synthesis. It bridges spatial statistical analytics and qualitative socio-spatial investigation. We argue that a geospatial analytical approach to understanding radicalization offers a way in which to begin empirically mapping radicalization in the region. Correspondingly, our work considers militant Islamic radicalization in Malaysia by employing geospatial analysis to build a more nuanced layering and comprehensive understanding of the spatial arrangements of radicalization. Viewed from this perspective, radicalization can be understood through spatial logics and practices aimed at facilitating better understandings of socio-political relations of political violence and terrorism more broadly.

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