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Dialogue About Radicalisation and Equality

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DARE (Dialogue About Radicalisation and Equality)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-08-31

DARE (Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality) is a major EU funded research project which aims to broaden our understanding of radicalisation as a societal, as opposed to a purely security-related, phenomenon. The consortium involves 17 partners in 13 countries - Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey and the UK.
Project aims
DARE aims to develop a distinctively social research agenda on radicalisation that focuses not on terrorist events or individuals, but on the milieus in which radicalisation messages are encountered. Specifically, it focuses on Islamist and anti-Islamist (extreme-right) radicalisation and investigates young people’s encounters with messages and agents of radicalisation, how they receive and respond to those calls, and how they make choices about the paths they take.
The project focuses on people aged between 12 and 30, as they are a key target of recruiters and existing research suggests they may be particularly receptive to radicalising messages. It approaches young people neither as victims nor perpetrators of radicalisation, but as engaged, reflexive, often passionate social actors who seek information they can trust, as they navigate a world in which calls to radicalisation are numerous.
DARE employs a multi-method research approach including meta-analysis, digital ‘big data’ analysis, an experimental survey and micro-level ethnographic studies of radicalising milieus. By observing young people’s everyday encounters, researchers are able to study people who hold radical ideas without becoming extremists – i.e. the process of non-radicalisation – and thus help to understand what pushes others across the threshold into violence. This social approach also allows the researchers to map and understand the everyday strategies already used to challenge radicalisation, and to recognise the potential for people to influence their peers positively.
DARE is critically reviewing existing, and starting to generate high quality new, empirical data that will significantly improve our understanding of the scope, origins, causes and psychological, emotional and social dynamics of radicalisation and non-radicalisation.
At the 16-month point of the project, the work of the DARE consortium is on target and making progress towards the overall objectives. Some deviation to the specified timetable has occurred due, in particular, to the complexities of the ethical approval process. However, the overall timetable of the project is unaltered and partners are now in the central fieldwork phase of DARE. Partners are already engaged in the dissemination of DARE messages to diverse groups using a range of traditional, creative and digital platforms to influence policy, practice and academic discussions.
DARE has produced two substantive reports that systematically map the field of knowledge in academic and practice terms as well as providing new tools for future work:
A major systematic review of studies on the relationship between inequality and radicalisation: This is a methodologically rigorous review of quantitative and mixed-method studies published in English between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2017 on the inequality-radicalisation relationship. [A comparable review of qualitative studies is currently being finalised.] The studies concern different forms of ‘radicalisation’ (e.g. cognitive and behavioural radicalisation, far-right and religious/Islamist radicalisation) and inequality (e.g. economic and socio-political). In total 141 studies were included in the review.
The review findings suggest an inconsistent relationship between economic indicators of inequality and radicalisation. At the social level, there is some evidence that a higher GDP per capita and unemployment, as well as lower education levels could be related to higher terrorism incidence. In relation to per capita GDP, countries with a high, and those with a low, per capita GDP tend to experience less terrorism than countries with an average per capita GDP. At the individual level, data on objective economic variables were inconsistent regarding cognitive radicalisation although slightly more consistent regarding behavioural radicalisation. More consistent patterns were found between cognitive radicalisation and various measures of perceived social inequality. Higher perceived inequality was related to more radicalised attitudes in different contexts, regardless of the ideological orientation of radicalisation.
One policy recommendation arising from the review, therefore, is that future policies should focus on minimising marginalisation and injustice towards individuals and communities since perceived inequality has been shown to be related to radicalisation in its various forms.
De-radicalisation programme integrity evaluation tool (DPIEC): An extensive mapping of the current state of research regarding evaluation in CVE has been included in the production of a stand-alone evaluation tool for stakeholders; the De-radicalisation Programme Integrity Evaluation Checklist (DPIEC). The DPIEC enables practitioners and policy makers active in the field of de-radicalisation and countering violent extremism to assess a programme’s structural integrity, i.e. the technical quality of the programme design in order to estimate the programme’s likelihood of impact. The toolkit can be used for existing programmes or those still at the stage of application for funding. It can also be used to systematically design programmes from scratch. The toolkit covers 73 factors across 6 structural integrity fields, detailed background information and guidelines on to apply it in a step-by-step process. The DPIEC will be made public once testing is completed and revisions to the tool have been made.
Methods: Extensive groundwork has been laid for the conducting of innovative and ethical ethnographic studies in radicalising milieus. A substantive ‘Data Handbook’ has been produced outlining shared research practices for collecting, managing and analysing data (primarily for the ethnographic studies but many of data management practices set out in the Handbook will be employed by all researchers conducting empirical work in the project. A common interview schedule and provisional coding tree have been agreed for ethnographic studies (of both Islamist and anti-Islamist milieus). All partners involved in ethnographic studies have identified milieus and begun fieldwork (following ethical approval).
Impact: Impact of DARE project to date includes:
• Establishment of the DARE website with regular short blogs on consortium activities
• Establishment and meeting of National Stakeholder Groups (NSGs) in partner countries. These NSGs involve a wide range of policy-ma
DARE logo (white background)