Networking and strengthening European prevention projects
During the three years of the BRaVE project, we were able to hold a number of events and bring together several actors in Prevention of Violent Extremism work as part of the Brave Fair. Despite the limited opportunities due to the pandemic, we have managed to network projects across Europe and make them more visible. A total of five projects developed new activities thanks to BRaVE Award funding.
Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism and Polarisation
Far Right and Islamist groups seeking to recruit people to their particular political cause promote ideologies and anti-human rights attitudes that lead to polarization, hatred, intolerance and violence. Often cherry-picking from religious doctrines, they rely on a superficial understanding and interpretation of such doctrines. The activities of such groups can lead to disruption of social cohesion, diminished civic capacity, loss of trust in democracy and human rights, social tensions, hate speech, intolerance, discrimination and even violence.
Survey of good practices in counteracting polarization and violent extremism
The BRaVE project built on existing knowledge and policy experience with a view of developing better analytical and policy tools for the design of more efficient resilience policies that counteract polarization and prevent violent extremism. The project started with a critical reading of existing scholarly literature and with a critical mapping of existing policy approaches to develop a preliminary impact assessment of these approaches. It continued with an extended survey of good practices in counteracting polarization and violent extremism and built an integrated database of such practices – with a special focus on community interventions which are arts and creativity based or employ youth cultural methods.
The project also developed a Resilience Hub that engages with three types of factors that can promote or mitigate polarization and violent extremism in society: notably historical and cultural factors; socio-economic conditions; the role of social media and networking. Moreover, BRaVE developed stakeholder workshops in relation to these three sets of factors that affect radicalization in society, and followed up with digital forums to enable participation of a large number of stakeholders.
Building tools of resilience
Each stakeholder dialogue built a tool of resilience in their field: notably inter-faith education training for secondary school teachers; a proposal for a basic income policy that mitigates socio-economic inequalities; a guide to responsible social media design. Particular emphasis was given to arts-based, creative, and youth-cultural approaches to prevention. The Resilience Hub will thus included a Resilience Fair where arts and creativity based community interventions to stop polarization and build resilience were presented.
The BRaVE Fair was the main event of the 3-year BRaVE project. The Fair aimed to bring together European prevention projects working for diversity and democracy in the fields of arts and sports - including the winners of the BRaVE Award. This event offered projects the opportunity to share their experiences, present and discuss their work. The Fair wanted to support projects, build new networks and give the opportunity to go into direct exchange and find inspiration for their own work based on best-practice projects.
You couldn't join us for the Fair? Here's the livestream of the event.
BRaVE Academy: Learn, Exchange & Network
Across five modules on Thursdays for five weeks in a row, we explored current topics of project work taking place in Europe. In each module, international experts, researchers and practitioners shared their knowledge with participants and encourage them to exchange ideas. Participants then had the opportunity to deepen their discussions and build new networks across Europe.
Many projects in Europe engage in building resilience in their communities and work against extremist tendencies and polarisation in our society. Within the framework of BRaVE, we wanted to support projects to exchange and network across Europe, to learn from each other and to support their work with expertise.
8 April 2021 | Advocacy: Developing online and offline campaigns and advocacy approaches within projects
15 April 2021 | Gender and At-Risk Communities: Working with different gender identities, minority and at risk communities
22 April 2021 | Online work: Developing and running online resilience and counter-extremism projects
29 April 2021 | Sports: Detailing the links between sport and extremism and how to use sport as a response
6 May 2021 | The Arts: Building resilience through arts-based approaches in interfaith and intercultural projects.
BRaVE Award Ceremony in november 2020
Many projects from all across Europe had applied for the BRaVE Award in spring 2020. All projects involving youth (children, adolescents or young adults) and working in the field of sports or art to prevent polarisation and violent extremism were invited to apply. Numerous projects which aim to foster resilience towards such phenomena among young people and to engage in interreligious dialogue submitted their application.
A panel of experts has then chosen 15 innovative projects from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany, Kosovo, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain to be nominated for the Award. And on November 19, the time for the ceremony had come: Build Solid Grounds from Slovakia, Jamal al-Khatib - Mein Weg from Austria and Breath in Break Out from Germandy received the BRaVE Award, which is endowed with 10,000 euros in project funding. The BRaVE Innovation Award went to the project Loulu and the winners of the People's Choice Award, Klanggerüst e.V. from Erfurt, received project funding of 1,000 euros. We congratulate all winners and nominees of the award. You can find the video of the award ceremony here.
Concept Paper: Polarisation, Violent Extremism and Resilience in Europe today: An analytical framework
This paper aims to conduct a systematic and critical review of contemporary literature dealing with processes of polarisation and the role they play in creating a matrix of adversities that can lead to increased vulnerability, to what is often termed ‘violent extremism’. It also reviews the potential impact of practices that are understood as building pro-social resilience to such adversities. Through a wide- ranging review, considering studies and practice on polarisation and ‘violent extremism’, the authors aim to identify a schema of what are broadly conceptualised as vulnerabilities – factors, operating on macro, meso and micro levels, which may either increase or decrease the likelihood that communities become fragmented and polarised within a European context.
An Ethical Code of Conduct for Social Media developers
This guide will help to inform social media developers and users, as well as counter-extremism practitioners, of how social media can be used to foster resilience against extremism. It will outline contemporary research publications and findings from the BRaVE project to explore how online spaces are stoking radicalisation through allowing the spread of alarmist narratives and disinformation, as well as using algorithms to create an ‘echo chamber’ effect which mainstreams extremist and violent narratives. This guide will support educators and developers to shape online social media spaces against violent narratives, extremism and disinformation.
Discussion Papers on the Causes of Violent Extremism
Several discussion papers will be released throughout the lifespan of the BRaVE Project, which seeks to understand the causes of violent extremism. These will delve into the different factors that contribute towards violent extremism – socioeconomic, cultural, historical and network-related factors. The research will be developed by the consortium throughout the course of the research project.
Read the papers
1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021
European University Institute (EUI), Italy
Lancaster University (ULANC), UK
CEJI-A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (CEJI), Belgium
Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland
Cultures Interactive (CI), Germany
ITTI sp. z o.o. (ITTI), Poland
Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU CPS), Hungary
Horizon 2020 – SC6 Governance