The Relationship between Radicalization and Well-Being: A Comparison of European Countries

Ioannis Petrakis*, Umut Korkut

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprint


This study investigates the impact of radicalization on well-being at both the country and individual levels. The empirical analysis is divided into two parts. In the first part, a global dataset from established macroeconomic databases is used, and fixed effects regressions are employed to identify within-country effects. The results at the country level indicate that radicalization has a detrimental effect on life satisfaction. Additionally, the causal mediation analysis suggests that up to 74% of the causal relationships can be explained by the impact of the economic crisis through economic and institutional channels. The second part of the analysis focuses on microeconomic aspects and utilizes data from the 2016 Life in Transition Survey (LiTS) in Europe. We define being radicalization-prone by losing trust in institutions and social networks. The survey results are examined for three country clusters: (1) Eurozone countries, (2) Eurozone accession countries, and (3) non-Eurozone countries. The impact of populism and radicalisation on the well-being of citizens of Eurozone countries is exacerbated if they co-exist. Among the facets of life satisfaction, financial and economic development satisfaction exhibit the largest negative effects on radicalization. Furthermore, citizen perceptions of the economic crisis and institutional deterioration are found to be significant factors in explaining radicalization. Overall, this study provides insights into the relationship between radicalization and well-being both at the macro and micro levels, shedding light on the importance of economic and institutional factors in understanding these dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages33
Publication statusSubmitted - 13 Sept 2023

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