Radicalization in arms? Exploring armed violence capital in the context of Quebec’s civilian military simulation communities

Global Crime, Sept. 2019
By Maxime Bérubé and Benjamin Ducol

Introducing the concept of ‘armed violence capital’, this paper intends to explore radicalisation leading to violence through the acquisition of knowledge and skills of violence without active ideological indoctrination. Using civilian communities practicing specific military simulations as a case study, it assesses how this type of training might be used for a deviant and extremist purpose. Based on a mixed-method approach of ethnographic observations, surveys, and interviews of civilian military simulation participants, it first describes this activity before explaining how such training can allow participants to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards the use of violence. Showing the observed members of this community are not violent extremists, this study suggests that an ideological motivation is needed for the use of extreme violence, but that a violent radicalisation process can evolve without this ideological aspect.