Radicalism is defined by the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) and National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) as: ‘The active pursuit of and/or support for fundamental changes in society that may endanger the continued existence of the democratic order (aim), which may involve the use of undemocratic methods (means) that may harm the functioning of the democratic order (effect).’

It can also be described in two elements reflecting thought/attitude and action/behaviour:

  1. Advocating sweeping political change, based on a conviction that the status quo is unacceptable while at the same time a fundamentally different alternative appears to be available to the radical.
  2. The means advocated to bring about the system-transforming radical solution for government and society can be non-violent and democratic through persuasion and reform or violent and non-democratic through coercion and revolution (Schmid, 2013).