The EU research project PAVE (Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism through Community Resilience in the Balkans and MENA) aims to tackle the global issue of radicalisation by examining its root causes and driving factors. Based on a comparative assessment of local communities with features of vulnerability or resilience to violent extremism across seven case study countries, 13 international partner institutions will develop concrete policy proposals to inform citizens and stakeholders within and beyond the regions under study. Over the next three years, the consortium will receive EUR 3 million funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
Project website: www.pave-project.eu
February 2020-January 2023
Based on an interdisciplinary, participatory and inter-regional approach, the main objectives of PAVE are:
To achieve these objectives PAVE will conduct comprehensive analysis on the drivers and contexts of violent extremism at the interface between religion, politics and identity, with a specific focus on factors of community vulnerability to ideological and behavioural patterns of radicalisation. PAVE will also assess the relevance and effectiveness of preventive initiatives against violent extremism, with a specific focus on measures to enhance community resilience.
The four thematic areas of investigation are:
The empirical enquiry will encompass in-depth case study research in selected municipalities in four Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia) and three MENA countries (Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia); intra-regional comparative analysis; and cross-regional comparative especially talking into consideration effects on European Security.
The project will seek to enhance participatory knowledge co-creation through a collaborative research design. Fieldwork and case studies will be led (jointly or in tandem) by universities or think tanks located in each of the respective countries, and by external academic institutions with thematic and regional expertise. Additionally, to ensure that the project corresponds to local needs, security practitioners, policy-makers, community (e.g. religious) leaders, civil society representatives and those working with at-risk groups will be involved from early stages of the research endeavour. Regular stakeholder committees will be convened in each fieldwork country in order to engage key social actors throughout the project. EU and European policy-makers will also be addressed through policy dissemination events in Brussels and EU project partner countries.
The empirical field research will combine qualitative and quantitative methods, including: key informant interviews and focus group discussions, discourse analysis of social media data, social network cluster analysis, community surveys and statistical analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) risk assessment tools, and a randomised field experiment.
Finally, the project will develop evidence-based tools and guidelines for policy and practitioner audiences such as community stakeholders (religious leaders, mayors, educators, civil society organisations, women and youth), policy-makers and wider public in the EU, MENA and the Balkans. It will do so by designing an interactive risk map spanning across three regions and a toolkit of cross-regional vulnerability/resilience factors, online open access training modules for capacity building and teaching (e.g. on how to use religious traditions against extremists’ narratives), and policy guidelines for multi-stakeholder engagement in preventive policies at the community level.
The project consortium consists of the following partner organisations:
This project is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 870769.
Engjellushe Morina, Beatrix Austin, Tim Jan Roetman & Veronique Dudouet: Community Perspectives on Violent Extremism: Strengthening local factors of social resilience. Policy Brief, Berghof Foundation, 2019.
Engjellushe Morina, Beatrix Austin, Tim Jan Roetman & Véronique Dudouet: Community Perspectives on Preventing Violent Extremism Lessons learned from the Western Balkans. Research Report. 2019.
Karin Göldner-Ebenthal & Véronique Dudouet, with support from Marie Migeon: Dialogue with Salafi jihadi armed groups: Challenges and opportunities for conflict de-escalation, Berghof Foundation, Berlin 2019
Beatrix Austin & Hans J. Giessmann (eds.). 2018. Transformative Approaches to Violent Extremism. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Issue No. 13. Berlin: Berghof Foundation.