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Terrorism pReventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TRIVALENT (Terrorism pReventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30

1.1 Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
Terror violence in Europe,increasingly perceived by the public opinion as a lingering threat,poses a series of new challenges to European institutions and Member States in terms of internal security,cohesion and social stability.
To successfully contrast such challenges it is necessary to develop responses that combine security with innovative preventive policies and practices.TRIVALENT project aims at contributing to a holistic view on such challenges,whose focus is a model assessment of the radicalisation process coupled with a three-layers prevention strategy:Predict to Prevent;Communicate to Prevent;Good Policing & Community Engagement to Prevent
1.2 Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
WP2 (Understanding the drivers of radicalization) brought out a thorough review of most recent literature on radicalisation since 2014,as a basic premise in view of developing a multi-factor model of radicalisation.Further,an in-depth analysis on root-causes and specific characteristics of radicalisation,leading to violence,has been carried out,based on two surveys:with LEA officials,and with experts.Both resulting in an assessment that points to the relevance of the social background and network variables.This analysis has been integrated with a framework assessment of internal structure socialization and group dynamics of terrorist organizations,with regard to jihadi organizations,radical right-wing and left-wing arenas by a review of the scientific literature on these specific topics.Finally has been developed a multi-factor model of radicalisation,taking into account determinants of different levels:micro-level (e.g. familial or psychological);meso-level (e.g. identification with the group);macro-level (e.g. historical reasons).
WP3 (Analysis of radical narratives on-line and off-line) by exploring different social theories on radicalisation in addition to different computational models aimed to detect and predict radicalisation,proposes a new methodological multidisciplinary approach to bridge the gap between these disciplines.These studies allow to develop a semantic engine customised on the basis of linguistic resources,further enriched via annotations methodology based on offline data sources,coupled with the development of a classifier as proof-of-concept showing the possibility to exploit machine learning techniques in the recognition of violent narratives spread on social media.The end outcome was accomplished with the design of a predictive software service “Alerts to radicalisation turning points” on the dissemination of violent extremist content on social media,tested and evaluated with LEA partners.
WP 4 (Counter-narratives against radicalization) aimed at developing a communication strategy for prevention,started with a study on the “narratives” promoted by radical groups,their dissemination machine and target audience.Further results have been brought in by developing a comprehensive communication strategy to deal with extremist narratives making use of a Swot analysis of various communication formats,and finally by developing a method assessing the implementation of the previous comprehensive communication strategy.
WP 5 “New policies and tools for tackling radicalization” approaching the side of prevention from a policy viewpoint,provided a thorough comparative analysis of existing counter-radicalisation policies,whose results have paved the way to frame a set of policy recommendations.Furthermore,gaps and relevant barriers characterising the current relationship between LEAs and civil society have been analysed,in order to design suitable new model cooperation between LEAs and civil society,whose implementation be supported and facilitated by the adoption of IT communication tools (chatbot),in order to uphold and strengthen civil society engagement in the prevention of violent radicalization.
WP 6 “New skills for LEAs and practitioners in the field” aimed to define a set of skills and competencies needed by LEAs and other practitioners for countering/preventing violent extremism.This aim was achieved by first identifying existing gaps within LEAs and other relevant sectors.Further developing a manual to collect new skills “Manual for Improved Counter-Radicalisation Efforts”,based on both theoretical and analytical approaches and social research methods,focusing on “soft skills” (“Guidelines for the Implementation of New Soft skills for LEAs”).Ending up with the design of a training curriculum (pilot course) directed at trainers form inside LEAs and specifically aimed at helping to convey the identified set of competencies and skills.
WP7 “Validation and testing of TRIVALENT solutions” was about the testing of the solutions developed under previous WPs and their validation,by involving both project partners and external end-users (experts and practitioners in the field of counter-radicalisation).The testing phase was addressed to the IT tools carried out in WP3 and WP5:respectively,an analytic tool for identification of radicalisation narratives on/offline and IT tool for early detection of radicalising and radicalised profiles on social media,and an IT tool for enhancing and encouraging communication between LEAs and civil society.Following the testing phase the tools have been validated,in addition to other project solutions developed under WP5 and WP6:respectively,a new model of cooperation between LEAs and civil society,a manual for LEAs with new skills and competencies required to improve the effectiveness in order tackle radicalisation and 'train-the-trainers' curriculum.
WP 8 “Training, Dissemination & Exploitation” provided support to all the project activities by way of dissemination and communication tools such as:the internal platform (Codendi),where to share information and documentation for partners consultation;the website (https://trivalent-project.eu/) and the newsletter (“Trivalent Notes”),both of them offering information on Trivalent events,publications,in addition to a wide selection of consultation materials freely accessible.Besides,the project exploitation plan (D8.7) has been regularly updated (until the end of the project),in order to give partners the opportunity to be informed on the variety of initiatives with social,cultural and professional impact,promoted,organized or participated by Trivalent representatives.
1.3 Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
Prevention is at the core of a paradigm shift from conventional securitarian approach towards more suitable communitarian approach.
On this background main expected results are:
- multi-factor model to assess radical behaviour;
- IT tools for early warning of violent radical narratives online/offline;
- communicative strategies focused on format model against violent extremism communication
- developing (soft)skills on the side of LEAs;
- developing IT tools to foster communication/cooperation between LEAs and CSOs;
- policy recommendations focused on prevention designed to build trust and collaboration between all relevant institutional, professional and social actors.