Once we better understand the marketing strategies put in place by extremists, we need to develop communication- or service-based strategies to defuse the radicalization process. Here, marketing can be especially helpful at designing successful preventive communication campaigns, at promoting governmental services or community outreach, and at enhancing the service quality of government-based programs. Consistent with this view, we encourage manuscripts that emphasize individual competences—such as parental mediation, media literacy and critical thinking (e.g., Radanielina Hita et al. 2017; Pinkleton et al. 2008)—that can have a neutralizing effect on extremists’ persuasion efforts. Other promising avenues include teaching self-acceptance (Trip et al. 2019), cultivating empathy (Sen 2007) and promoting forgiveness (Joireman, Grégoire, and Tripp 2016). These different skills (such as the Ashoka empathy) have been described as powerful agents leading to profound social transformations (Sen 2007). In addition, in light of the recent social movements against racism (e.g., “black lives matter”), we also encourage marketing researchers to examine the components and organization of such social revolutions. Finally, we invite researchers to use the lens of transformative service research (Anderson and Ostrom 2015) to find solutions to counter different forms of radicalization. Below is a list of possible topics:
- Antecedents of media literacy skills;
- The impact of parental mediation on youths’ interactions on radical groups’ websites;
- The impact of media literacy skills on the radicalization process;
- The mitigating effect of critical thinking and media literacy on the impact that disinformation may have on radicalization;
- The characteristics of an effective government-sponsored public service announcement;
- The effective usage of social media to counter radicalization in prevention programs;
- The notion of service quality for prevention organizations or community outreach;
- Adaptation of communication strategies for different segments at risk;
- The effect of media literacy on youth consumption of social media;
- The effect of positive psychology (e.g., self-acceptance, resilience) in preventing radicalization;
- The effect of “cultivating empathy” as a tool to prevent radicalization;
- The identification of marketplace factors (e.g., diversity, discrimination, inclusion, leadership style) that can reduce or amplify extremists’ beliefs;
- The identification of service interventions and their effectiveness at reducing radicalization;
- The characteristics and organization of mass social movements denouncing radical or intolerant views (e.g., “black lives matter”).
This list is not exhaustive, as this special issue is open to any empirical research examining the effects of any preventive marketing or communication tools.