Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Young

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Hunter


The rise in terrorist acts carried out by individuals who have been raised and radicalized within the Western countries they are attacking has increasingly become a common topic for study and conversation over the past few decades. With revelations that numerous British individuals have now joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the issue has heightened the interest of the British population and government. This study utilizes theories of revolution and psychological theories of radicalization in order to analyze the rise in homegrown terrorism within the British context on three levels: the societal, the global, and the individual. This examination demonstrates that while multiple variables are involved, they are interacting and contingent, showing that isolation of a single aspect cannot lead to a full understanding of how and why this situation has arisen. A historical review shows that immigration and other externally originated forces helped create dysfunction in the British social system, which, combined with the influence of globalization, has allowed the process of radicalization to take root. The study concludes that this disequilibrium is a result of misalignment of the values of the population and the socioeconomic structure of the society, which, if not corrected, will potentially allow situations such as these to develop.