This article sheds more light on the role of states and the bearing which political and elite interests may have exerted on public support for Boko Haram. It examines the political, socio-economic, and ideological context of the crisis and moves on to map the two dominant de-radicalization approaches; top-down and bottom-up approaches. The article exposes the fault lines of realism’s top-down approaches toward national security in Northern Nigeria and proposes a bottom-up approach as a complement to the earlier top-down model. An evaluation of both approaches reveals that top-down approaches are state-centric and are predisposed to realist techniques of wars centred on threat, use and control of military force. The work specifically argues for a hybrid security model that incorporates both elements on top down and bottom up security approaches. The key theoretical considerations employed in the article relates to micro and macro theories of collective political violence. The theories provide a better understanding of the underlying drivers of violent extremism and radicalization that leads to terrorism and also justification for the approaches used in countering them. The article answered key research questions related to Top-down and Bottom-up security approaches.
Keywords: Terrorism, Radicalization, De-radicalization, Bottom up and Topdown Approaches.