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Jugendhilfe
aktuelle Projekte

Transatlantic Network Against Extremism (TransNex)

Duration: July 2023 to December 2024

​Project partners

  • SOCLES International Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Heidelberg/Berlin

  • Canadian Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Extremist Violence (CPN-PREV)

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Associated partners

  • Organisation for the Prevention of Violence (OPV)

  • Yorktown Family Services/Estimated Time of Arrival (EST)

  • Moonshot

  • McGill University, Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry (Prof. Cecile Rousseau)

  • German Youth Institute e.V. (DJI)

  • Ulm University Hospital Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychotherapy

Hard-to-reach Individuals and Communities

The prevention of radicalisation processes, group-related misanthropy and extremist violence is based not only on the commitment and motivation of frontline practitioners, but also on professional relationships of trust. At the same time, specialised professionals in the fields of prevention, disengagement and exit work are faced with the question of how they can reach individuals and groups who isolate themselves, not least because of their ideological convictions, but also those who isolate themselves from important parts of society as a whole more generally. As a consequence, a wide variety of approaches are currently being discussed and implemented.

Furthermore, in the course of their day-to-day work, professionals from a wide range of other areas (e.g., child and youth welfare, the penal system, healthcare and public authorities) can come into contact with people who hold anti-democratic, misanthropic, violent extremist or conspiratorial beliefs. The professional relationships that arise in this way can form an essential starting point for the prevention, disengagement and exit work of specialised civil society organisations.

Getting In Contact

At the same time, there is a complex interplay between the behaviour of professionals from different practice areas and the perceptions of their clients. Although these relations are difficult to measure, research indicates that this interplay can have a conscious or unconscious influence on radicalisation processes. As well, professionals from other psychosocial fields often lack the necessary knowledge and confidence to work with people who are in the process of radicalisation or who hold extremist beliefs. As a result, they can feel uncomfortable, unsafe, overwhelmed or discouraged and in need of support. Approaches to deepen and improve networking and cumulative learning between specialised prevention, disengagement and exit workers and specialists from other areas (e.g., child protection) are currently being developed (see RaFiK project, needs analyses on preventing extremism (Bedarfsanalysen Extremismusprävention)).

Alternatively, access to people or groups that are difficult to reach can be achieved through targeted outreach efforts. To do this, specialised prevention, disengagement and exit professionals usually have to overcome a number of obstacles for reaching potential clients - in particular, previous negative experiences and a lack of information as well as the resulting withdrawal and mistrust. The low-threshold provision of easily accessible services and the activation of family members or other local people who act as "key persons" are promising approaches. In addition, a variety of other outreach options for hard-to-reach individuals or groups are currently being discussed and practised. However, research-based knowledge about what works and what does not is still scarce.

 

Project Objective

To address the needs identified above, TransNex therefore aims to bring together existing expertise on these issues from Canada and Germany, as well as other countries. During the 18-month pilot phase of the project, a transatlantic network of experts from front-line practice, research, and policy will be established, which will support exchange of expertise, conduct training courses and evaluate the status quo of the tried and tested measures. Through the international perspective of a transatlantic network, promising developments in the field of prevention, disengagement and exit work are to be made available for discourse and practice in Canada, Germany and beyond.

The aim after the pilot project is to continuously expand the wealth of knowledge and experience, especially with regard to the expansion of networking between the specialised civil society providers of prevention, disengagement and exit work and experts from other fields. The international network is intended to create a space for cooperation and exchange and thus contribute to a shared understanding between experts, educators, practitioners and researchers. At the same time, TransNex aims to provide a platform for policy makers to discuss new innovative approaches and programmes.

In order to achieve these goals, SOCLES, together with CPN-PREV and the associated project partners, will organise a total of three half-day online workshops and a three-day in-person symposium in Canada in 2024, which will address various issues relating to reaching hard-to-reach individuals and groups.

 

Dates

The three workshops will take place online on June 18, September 17 and October 15, 2024. The final symposium will take place from December 11 to 13, 2024 in Montreal/Canada.

Funded by:
Public Safety Canada’s Community Resilience Fund.

 

Contact:

Leon A. Brandt

T +49 163 926 51 95

brandt@socles.de

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