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SoSS to lead new major international research project

(16 March 2017)

Professor Hilary Pilkington, School of Social Sciences, will coordinate the new Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality (DARE) project, which will investigate 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, which includes 15 partners in 13 countries, aims to broaden understanding of radicalisation, demonstrate that it is not located in any one religion or community, and to explore the effects of radicalisation on society. 

Hilary said: “Radicalisation is a politically charged and divisive discourse. Social scientists can keep their hands clean by disengaging from it – but if they do, they duck the responsibility to understand and respond to the mainstreaming of hate speech and radicalism of all persuasions. 

“By separating radicalisation research from terrorism studies, we can look at a process and thus allow for intervention. Moreover, we can understand people as active agents - reflecting on their journeys - not pathological extremists, and we can create the possibility of reaching our goal of a more secure, but not more hostile, society by learning from those who resist radicalisation.”

Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 framework, the research is directly linked to policy and practice objectives. Among its outputs will be educational toolkits for use with young people in formal and informal educational settings, and a toolkit for evaluating existing deradicalisation programmes.