Charting the path of radicalisation in the Australian survivalist sub-culture
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 09:52 authored by Simon Henry
The focus of this study was to address the significant gap that exists in the knowledge of the contemporary Australian survivalist sub-culture. The specific problem addressed by this thesis was that of,  establishing an empirical understanding of the behavioural and ideological development path of individuals within the Australian survivalist sub-culture, and  examining the potential Australian survivalist development path in the context of current scholarly theories concerning individual and group radicalisation processes. This thesis employed an unobtrusive research method, in a summative approach to conducting a qualitative content analysis of the publicly posted material displayed at Australia’s largest survivalist-specific Internet discussion forum, at aussurvivalist.com. The qualitative content analysis was a retrospective longitudinal study undertaken to identify common Australian survivalist behaviours and beliefs, relevant to various stages of Australian survivalist development, reflected in thirteen years of forum text data, created by 125 Australian survivalist sample participants. This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge by presenting the findings of the first empirical research to be conducted on the Australian survivalist sub-culture. This thesis identifies the range of behaviors and beliefs specific to three different categories of Australian survivalists within the sub-culture and a common twelve-stage Australian survivalist behavioural and ideological development path. This thesis supports the assertion that the Australian survivalist development path is a sub-culturally relative radicalisation process, which includes identified radicalisation themes that are also reiterated among numerous established radicalisation pathway models. Unlike those established pathway models, the Australian survivalist radicalisation process lacks an end stage that includes the perpetration of violent acts. This thesis supports the further assertion that the Australian survivalist development path is a potential progression pathway example that contributes to debates concerning the validity and significance of non-violent radicalisation processes and theorised barrier influences against violent extremist development.