Computational Modelling Group

Excitable Boys: An Exploration of the Role of Social Groups in the Self-radicalisation Process Using Agent-based Modelling.

Research Team
Lewys Brace
Jason Noble

This work built upon the seminal work of Sageman (2008), and his hypothesis that the self-radicalisation phenomenon that we are currently witnessing across Europe and the United States stems from self-organising ‘bunches of guys’. More specifically, there was a focus on how individuals can influence one another through social links; and how this can lead to behaviour, similar to deindividuation, arising through their interactions. Complexity theory and agent-based modelling were used in order to explore the interactions that are believed to lie at the heart of this psycho-social phenomenon, and justification is given for this approach. The model presented demonstrated that social bonds can lead to a greater number of individuals ‘rebelling’ against the status quo.


Socio-technological System simulation: Self Organized Networks, Social and Socio-economic Systems, Social Networks

Algorithms and computational methods: Agents

Simulation software: NetLogo

Transdisciplinary tags: Complex Systems