Far Right and Islamist groups seeking to recruit people to their particular political cause promote ‘black and white’ ideologies that lead to polarization, hatred, intolerance and violence. Often cherry-picking from religious doctrines, they rely on superficial understanding and interpretation of such doctrines. The activities of such groups can lead to disruption of social cohesion, diminished civic capacity, social tensions, hate speech, intolerance, discrimination and even violence. This project builds on existing knowledge and policy experience with a view of developing better analytical and policy tools for the design of more efficient resilience policies that counteract polarization and prevent violent extremism. The project starts with a critical reading of existing scholarly literature and with a critical mapping of existing policy approaches to develop a preliminary impact assessment of these approaches. It continues with a further survey of good practices in counteracting polarization and violent extremism and builds an integrated database of such practices. The project develops a Resilience Hub that engages with three types of factors that can promote or mitigate polarization and violent extremism in society: notably historical and cultural factors; socio-economic conditions; the role of the social media and networking. We develop stakeholder workshops in relation to these three sets of factors that affect radicalization in society, and follow up with digital forums with the participation of a large number of stakeholders. Each stakeholder dialogue builds a tool of resilience in their field: notably inter-faith education training for secondary school teachers; a proposal for a basic income policy that mitigates socio-economic inequalities; a guide to responsible social media design. The Resilience Hub further develops a Resilience Fair where arts-based community interventions to stop polarisation and build resilience will be presented.
Project partners include the University of Lancaster (CREST), the CEJI in Brussels, Dublin City University, Cultures Interactive in Berlin, Germany, the Central European University (Centre for Policy Studies) in Budapest and the IT entreprise ITTI in Poznan, Poland.
Duration: 1 January 2019-30 June 2021
Coordinator: Anna Triandafyllidou