CONNEKT looks into violent extremism prevention policies of eight MENA and Balkan countries

The publication explores the strategies on extremism in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Up to 18 experts draw a comprehensive account of national approaches towards violent extremism in the framework of the CONNEKT project, which the URV's UNESCO Chair for Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean is part of

A just released publication of the Horizon 2020 research project CONNEKT, in which the UNESCO Chair for Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean of URV participates, describes the national structural and contextual approaches and strategies towards radicalisation and violent extremism in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The publication comprises eight country reports that assess the weight of socio-political drivers in current approaches to radicalisation and violent extremism in the MENA region and the Balkans, particularly towards young people. It also explores how a socially-rooted approach might fit into the current dominant paradigm of Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) strategies in these regions.

This new reports set out valuable data, relevant stakeholders, figures and information regarding violent extremism in their specific contexts, and provide a brief overview of the main policies, strategies and initiatives regarding P/CVE in each country.

Up to 18 contributors from the Balkans and the MENA countries have worked in this document. It constitutes a new step for the CONNEKT project, which started in early 2020, to analyse and establish patterns of difference and commonalities between MENA and Balkan countries and also across regions. More prominently, it will shed some light on the impact of the international securitisation paradigm in the regions under study.

The CONNEKT project

CONNEKT is a research and action project that analyses 7 potential radicalisation drivers among youth aged between 12 and 30 in eight MENA and Balkan countries: religion, digitalisation, economic deprivation, territorial inequalities, transnational dynamics, socio-political demands, and educational, cultural and leisure opportunities. And it evaluates them on three levels: transnational/state, community and individual.

Its aim is to establish a multi-dimensional map of drivers of extremism among youth in the eight countries (Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Bulgaria) and to identify the interplay between them. Based in its findings, the project will recommend tools and measures for the prevention of violent extremism from a social and community perspective.

The UNESCO Chair of Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean of the University Rovira i Virgili is part of the consortium implementing the project. A multidisciplinary consortium that brings together 14 entities (study centers, think tanks, associations, universities) from MENA, the EU and the Balkans, led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed).

The complete report can be consulted in CONNEKT’s website.

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