Youth Alternarration: Developing alternative narratives through youth work
Authors: Maja Muhic Matej Manevski Editors: Dragana Jovanovska Elena Ceban
GLOSSARY OF TERMS Alienated - feeling withdrawn or separated from others or from society as a whole Counter-radicalisation Usually refers to activity aimed at a group of people intended to dissuade them from engaging in terrorism-related activity. Far-Right Extremism is a form of conservative ideology that typically supports neo-Nazism, racism, and xenophobia. It is usually a manifested by a group or individuals who plan or commit serious criminal activity motivated by a political or ideological viewpoint along the line of those listed above. Far-Left Extremism is an ideology that advocates anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and prosocialist ideals. Left-wing extremist groups seek to bring about societal change through revolutionary tactics. Homegrown or domestic terrorism is terrorism targeting victims "within a country by a perpetrator with the same citizenship" as the victims Ideology is a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual. Very often ideology refers to a set of political beliefs or a set of ideas that characterize a particular culture Political and Religious Extremism - an ideology that advocates the reorganization of society around fundamentalist religious principles opposing the principles of democracy, tolerance, diversity of thought, and individual liberty. Migrant a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions. Non-democratic government is a government run by officials who are not elected by citizens and are not accountable to citizens. Radicalisation is a process by which an individual becomes increasingly extremist in their political, religious, or social ideologies and comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. Special-Interest Extremism is a form of violent extremism focused on changing attitudes on specific issuesâ€”such as animal rights, environmentalism, or pro-life ideology Staircase model of radicalisation is a psychological explanation as to why out of large numbers of dissatisfied people in society, only a very small minority end up committing acts of terrorism. It was proposed in 2005 by Fathali M. Moghaddam in his paper "The Staircase to Terrorism". The model involves a metaphorical staircase, where each step is influenced by a specific psychological process. It is proposed that the higher an individual moves up the
staircase, the fewer alternatives to violence they will see, ultimately resulting in the destruction of themselves, others, or both. Terrorism is broadly defined as the use of violence by a non-state actor to pursue a political end or to intimidate civilians Hate speech, as defined by the Ministry Committee of the European Council, covers all forms of expression that propagate, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, sexism or other forms of hate founded on intolerance, discrimination and hostility towards minorities, immigrants and people born of immigrants, religions or discrimination towards different sexual orientations. Interculturality is a dynamic concept and refers to evolving relations between cultural groups. It has been defined as “the existence and equitable interaction of diverse cultures and the possibility of generating shared cultural expressions through dialogue and mutual respect.” Interculturality presupposes multiculturalism and results from ‘intercultural’ exchange and dialogue on the local, regional, national or international level.
Youth Work is a wide range of social, cultural, educational or political activities by, with and for young people. May also include sport and youth services (i.e. youth information work), out-of-school education, informal or recreational activities. It can be given at local, regional, national and European level.
Chapter 1 Violent radicalisation and manifestations
Introduction to the chapter Over the last two decades, especially following 9/11, the main forms of radicalisation have gained strength and prominence, especially in Europe. Out of the plethora of manifestations of radicalisation, such as: religion-based, right-wing, left-wing, ethno-nationalist, and singleissue extremism (animal rights advocates, etc.) the right-wing extremism and Islamist radicalisation are the most prominent forms of this phenomenon in Europe. The former has been most traumatically exemplified by Breivikâ€™s mass murder of 77 people out which 69 at a summer camp on the island of Utoya in Norway in the summer of 2011, and Darren Osborneâ€™s, attack on the Finsbury Mosque in London in 2017, while the latter has been manifested in numerous terrorist attacks amongst which in Madrid (2004), London (2005), Paris (2015), Belgium (2016), Nice (2016). The immensely destructive power of this phenomenon has been a major concern of most European countries and has resulted in a proliferation of publications and policies that attempt to treat this issue. This handbooks will try to lay out the varying definitions regarding radicalisation, discuss its most prominent and powerful manifestation in the on-line space, and show the potential of youth work for countering radicalisation as well as of good educational practices that address the phenomenon.
2.1.Definition of the concept There are numerous definitions of radicalisation thus making it difficult to enwrap the concept in one single explanation. The reason behind this is the complexity of the phenomenon, the historical transformation of its meaning, as well as the fact that this concept is currently dealt with in the political realm in order to shape the policies that deal with radicalisation. It must be noted therefore, that there are different definitions in the scholarly realm as opposed to the governmental realm. Moreover, there is no single consensus regarding the definition of this phenomenon in neither of the two reals. Most definitions however, agree on the premise that radicalisation refers to an individual process, often strongly influenced by group processes. A well formulated and frequently cited definition comes from Schmid, according to whom radicalisation is: An individual or collective (group) process whereby, usually in a situation of political polarisation, normal practices of dialogue, compromise and tolerance between political actors and groups with diverging interests are abandoned by one or both sides in a conflict dyad in favour of a growing commitment to engage in confrontational tactics of conflict waging. These can include either (i) the use of (nonviolent) pressure and coercion, (ii) various forms of political violence other than terrorism or (iii) acts of violent extremism in the form of terrorism and war crimes. (Schmid, 2011, 678-9)
This definition clearly lays out the skeleton of radicalisation. What is noticeable from it is that radicalisation is a process, in which the dominant political order, dialogue, and tolerance are rejected, thus leading towards either non-violent or violent tactics that may sometimes but not always potentially lead to terrorist acts. Additionally, it contains processes of ideological/social isolation from society and dichotomous world views as well as an increasingly justifying commitment to intergroup conflict. This definition brings into focus a very important distinction between violent and non-violent manifestations of radicalization. According to Bartlett and Miller (2011) radicalization is not always violent, but it is merely a refusal of the status quo. Seen through this perspective then, it should be emphasized that radicalization challenges the excepted norms and policies in a society due to a complex set of factors, but does not automatically correlates to acts of violence. The transitioning towards violent tactics and terrorist acts is absolutely not a straightforward line of events and should not be considered as such. Bartlett and Miller (2011) warn against this simplistic logic by bringing into light that in addition to being an intellectual, rational, and religious decision, becoming a terrorist is also an emotional, social, and status-conscious one. Radical are therefore not per se violent, and while radicals might share some of the characteristics of the above-mentioned definition, some also have willingness to engage in critical thinking (Bartlett and Miller, 2012: 2). An important argument is put forth by Moghaddam, who states that his eight decades of psychological research on radicalisation point to the fact that radicalisation of attitudes does not necessarily result in radicalisation of behavior (2009, 280). Moreover, to speak of behavioural radicalisation people should not only develop particular beliefs but should also be involved in unlawful acts (Neumann, 2013). This fact hugely increases the importance of youth work as a crucial means towards transforming individuals and helping them step out from the Staircase of radicalisation, visualized and developed by Moghaddam. Other definitions of radicalisation such as the one from the National Counterterrorism Strategy of the Dutch Government (NCTV, 2016) describes the phenomenon as a process toward extremism or even terrorism. Likewise, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation (2008: 7) defines radicalisation as: “socialisation to extremism which manifests itself in terrorism.” It must be noted that this is a prevalent definition of radicalisation in mainstream political debates but is also highly criticized for not offering solid explanation on the mechanism that lead to political violence (Dzhekova et al. 2016). The complexity and relativeness of the term begs the need of contextualization, that is, putting radicalisation in relation to mainstream political activities and policies. Societies grounded on non-democratic values might label those who strive for free speech and other democratic privileges as radical, while the opposite applies to modern democratic countries in Europe. (Neumann, 2013). The Canadian government, for example describes radicalisation as the process by which “individuals are introduced to an overtly ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from moderate, mainstream beliefs towards extreme views." Although the radicals do not always have to be violent, the focus of this handbook will mainly be violent radicalisation that gains prevalence through the online platforms, and the possible means of countering it primarily through youth work. While both in a historical and contemporary context, radicals may or may not be violent, the same cannot be said about its more violent manifestations – extremism and terrorism. Extremists are far more prone to violence, uniformity and collective goals, thus ignoring the individual freedom and diversity of opinions (Schmid, 2013l Midlarsky, 2011; Mares, 2012). They are also without an
exception, never democrats and they build their cause heavily on ideology. Radicalisation has many associated trends and policy frameworks and from counter-terrorism to hate speech, governments and institutions have increased their concerns about the presence of radicalised individuals online and within society (Ferraguto et al. 2018, 5). 2.2. FACTORS OF RADICALISATION 2.2.1. Search of identity There are numerous theories tackling the complex issue pertaining to the factors of radicalisation and they all agree that there is no single cause of terrorism or a standard path of radicalisation towards terrorism. However, there is some general agreement on potential causes and catalysts. Schmidt for instance (2013) proposes a three level model of analysis when searching for the possible cause and mechanism triggering radicalisation. These include the micro-level (the individual), meso-level (the supportive or even complicit social surrounding), and the macro-level (this includes the role of the government and society home and abroad; the radicalisation of opinion, party politics, majority-minority relations, etc.). Talking of the micro-level it should be noted that although the popular understanding of radicalisation refers to violent acts of aggression, extremism and terrorism, one of its understanding less related to manners of violent actions explains it as a process of anchoring oneself in one’s knowledge, opinions, values and beliefs to determine one’s behavior. In this sense, radicalisation is the conflation of the sense of belonging, a sense of identity and the resulting action. The concept thus understood is not much different than its popular interpretation in which radicalisation refers to extreme forms of action. Even in this sense, the underlying motive for such action is the desire for belonging and the quest for collective identity that occurs as one of the most potent factors influencing radicalisation. One of the crucial factors influencing radicalisation that leads to an aggressive act is the loss of identity and search for it due to social rejection, that is, the sentiment that something is missing in one’s life. This is especially true for the second/third generation of migrants who are unsuccessfully integrated in the society (mainly in one of the European countries). These youngsters are socially isolated, disenchanted, alienated, unemployed and most importantly non-integrated members of a society that they feel distant from. They live in parallel societies where they continue to practice the religion and culture of their homeland, while at the same time they are not accepted and integrated in the ‘new’ land. Thus they fail to share the common values with the host country and become easy target for radical propaganda. The sentiments of alienation, inability to find acceptance, identity and purpose denied to them in the real, offline world, pushes these young people to go to social networks and the cyber space in a pursuit of sense, belonging and reduction of anxieties. These young people feel dissatisfied and angry at the society that has caused them suffering and has not accepted them. In this sense, online radical ideologies and groups supporting and promoting them come as a ‘perfect’ cure, an outlet to vent their anger and anchor their anxious selves. Joining such groups gives them an escape from the personal sense of grievance, but more importantly it offers them a sense of belonging. The most vulnerable of them are those who are at a stage of life where they are seeking an identity, while looking for approval and validation. In this context, “home grown terrorism can be viewed as a
sociological phenomenon where issues such as belonging, identity, group dynamics, and values are important elements in the transformation process […] (Precht, 2007). Extremists groups recognize the need for collective identity, and by exploiting relational and emotional bonds, they not only offer gratification of these needs but also achieve endorsement of their values. One can easily draw a pattern here. Namely, the common denominator in the process of individual radicalisation is the search for identity, be it religious, ethnic, and/or political accompanied by the lack of integration and socialization. The most vulnerable categories (young men between the ages of 19-28), are not sufficiently and efficiently integrated in the multireligious and multicultural societies, and exposed to religious, ethnic and cultural diversity. Such exposure should offer them various world views (ideologies) which would lead to greater tolerance and acceptance of the differences, but also would make them feel accepted by other open minded individuals. However, deprived of such opportunity, it is no wonder then they are susceptible to radicalisation which comes as a perfect fit to their monolithic and polarized understanding of and status in society. This line of thinking is supported by current research according to which, “radicalisation is a process of individual depluralization of political concepts and values (e.g. justice, freedom, honour, violence, democracy.” (Koehler 2014) The result of such de-pluralization is the belief that no other alternative interpretations of political concepts and the world exist. The more individuals have internalized the notion “that no other alternative interpretations of their (prioritized) political concepts exist (or are relevant), the more we can speak of (and show) a degree of radicalisation.”(Koehler 2014) Such depluralization, we believe, is additionally facilitated by the environments in which these youngsters live. Many of them, migrants in particular, live in parallel societies consisting of members of the same religion or culture, or in urban areas inhabited by low wage workers of the same nationality where right wing extremism is an answer to the political but also to the economic challenges. In such environments, where there is no cultural diversity and/or plurality of ideas, it is really a challenge to create individualized senses of plurality within the youngsters. This sense is necessary in order to develop a strong feeling of openness towards the other and thus ensure minimum or no degree of radicalisation. However, it is not impossible, we believe, and such a goal may be accomplished through schooling, and private initiatives (CSOs) which can offer these youngsters a different sense of collective belonging, a belonging not to one but to many groups, an experience of multi-identification and plurality.
The language of dichotomies
One of the related problems to radicalisation is the language used, which many find easy and acceptable just because it operates on black and white dichotomies that relieve one from the pressure to cope with life complexities. The past decades have witnessed a plethora of such othering speeches/languages, form of offensive language that makes use of stereotypes to express an ideology of hate”. The “us and them” structure of such language functions well as a radicalisation instrument, since it offers a confidence in our actions and legitimizes our
calls, because “we” is “construed as abused, under threat, victims in need to be defended, while the “other” is dehumanized, constructed as evil.” (Alava et al. 2017) These processes help both de-individuation and polarization, and are not only used by extremist groups. In this respect, an often overlooked phenomenon is the spread of negative image about undesirable groups (both those labeled as ‘them’ in the language of terrorists, or right wing extremist, but also all groups potentially marginalized on different grounds) not only in the social media, but also weblogs, discussion forums, mass media and daily papers. Polarization is accomplished by various language forms such as stigmatizing and dehumanizing metaphors (parasites, leeches, bloodsuckers (Musolff 2015), which are taken for granted and disseminated across media platforms and audiences. These may not affect radicalisation directly, but they undeniably contribute to the social perceptions of certain collectives. They not only provide discriminatory language but fuel social confrontations and marginalization. The use of othering as a general discriminative strategy is present both in the West European societies and media but also in the radicalist (Jihadists) magazines (Inspire and Dabiq) where examples of negative othering via homogenization (denying individuality through suppression/stereotyping, that is, reduction to single properties, and pejoration are also common place (Dus and Macdonald 2018, Ingram 2015, Novenario 2016). 3.
3.1. Reasons, processes and means While the internet may not be the key instrument of radicalisation, since a potential (search for identity, sense of alienation, social rejection) is already at work in the individual, it can definitely accelerate the radicalisation and the occurrence of manifest forms of aggression and extremism. Long exposure to images depicting various atrocities committed by any institution or a state accompanied by evaluative, judging and hate spreading language by charismatic leaders may push ‘silent’ individuals into fully fledged radicals. The question at stake is why is the internet such an appealing and effective platform for radicalisation? One way of looking at it is to say that it creates more opportunities to become radicalized by: providing an ‘echo chamber’ (a place where individuals find their ideas supported and echoed by other like-minded individuals); allowing radicalisation to occur without physical contact; and increasing opportunities for self-radicalisation (Von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C., & Gribbon, L. (2013). It is easily accessible, offers great networking opportunities with like-minded individuals, in addition to being cheap, unregulated, and it offers anonymity which motivates individuals to speak or act out more radical online as they would normally do offline. The perceived privacy seems to motivate some individuals to use more radical language, be more ferocious, or call for direct action online (Kohler 2014). Additionally, “the Internet provides a space to share crucial information connected to the chosen lifestyle, such as banned literature, music, clothes and manuals, as well as the possibility to directly shape the ideology, to create own “schools” or interpretations, also gives even low-ranking members the feeling that they are actually able to influence their own movement.” (ibid.)
The internet also offers the possibility to research or post information in degrees of anonymity, and under little government surveillance or control, a sense of anonymity that allows people to believe they can hide their real identities and avoid responsibility for their actions. It also enables and encourages active participation, especially in chat rooms where the individuals can exchange ideas with likeminded, and be indoctrinated in the ideology. It is a socialization (one that has been limited in the offline world), that extends to the production and sharing of information (Alava et al. 2017). In these cyber encounters, individuals become able to ‘shop’ for ideological interpretations and styles most fitting for them and also change or evolve their own placement within the ideology (Koehler 2014). 3.2. Mechanisms of radicalisation The phenomenon of radicalisation begs the question as to how individuals become immersed in the process. In most cases, a longer exposure to extremist content (graphic images and video), and exposure to discourses about martyrdom and death can produce “mortality salience, a powerful sense of one’s own mortality, which increases support for brutal, terrorist tactics (Pyszczynski 2006) Similarly, scholars discussing the rise of Jihadism argue that “the powerful and emotionally arousing videos from conflict zones—for example, those depicting alleged incidents of torture, rape, and other atrocities by Western troops—can induce a sense of moral outrage that in results can trigger mobilization (Sageman 2008). The internet is one of those “criminogenic environments,” in which extreme behaviors and ideas are learned and absorbed and which come to seem normal because they come as a result of an interaction with people who hold similar views (Sutherland 1947). In these interactions, moderate, non-violent voices are excluded leading to “online disinhibition.” (Suler 2004) The groups become more hostile and polarized and this may spill over into aggressive behavior offline. Another process of radicalisation happens through role playing, a “gamification” of cyberspace, which involves individuals immersed in multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft. Finally, the internet helps “connect people with similar interests, even across great distances and with no prior interaction. It makes it easier to meet terrorists and connect with them especially with those who have no real-world contacts in the violent extremist milieu”. (AIVD) Although websites are popular platforms for radicalisation to take place, it seems that chatrooms and forums are more lenient as active sources of interaction and information sharing. Facebook is then more used as a decentralized center for the distribution of information and videos or a way to find like-minded supporters and show support rather than direct recruitment (Quilliam, 2014; Shah, 2012). Micro-blogging sites like Twitter present more advantages for extremist groups because traceability of the identity and the source of the tweets are harder to achieve, thus increasing the communication potential for recruiters. (Alava et al. 2017)
4. Manifestations of radicalization
4.1. Alt-right extremism in Europe Vulnerabilities for online radicalisation are present in any society, therefore, it could be assumed that online radicalisation could happen within any geographical region with Internet access. Europe finds itself facing this risk, given that at the end 2017 there were more than seven hundred million Internet users from the region, the biggest amount only after Asia. Much of the research on violent online extremism has been focused on the practices of the jihadis while disproportionately less attention has been paid to nationalist-separatist movements and terrorist actions resulting from it. Muslims have proven to be particular targets of radicalisation online. With a growing population in Europe due to the young age of Muslims on the continent, migration and the recent refugee situation, it is imperative to consider the influence of Islamophobia and the political environment in Europe as possible influences for these individuals to be radicalised (Ferraguto et al. 2018). In addition to the often spoken about Politico-religious extremism that was tackled earlier in the text especially when we discussed the migrants in the European countries, far-right violent extremism is now becoming a serious threat to European communities. This form of radicalization is associated with fascism, white supremacism, ultranationalist, and hostility towards immigrants and minorities. Some governments in Europe recognize this threat more than others, and carve policies that address this phenomenon popularly called the alt-right, that is, alternative-right movement. Germany has for example established a specialist centre focused on far-right and far-left extremism, the Gemeinsame Extremismus- und Terrorismusabwehrzentrum (GETZ). Similarly to the discussion above, one of the main triggers of far-right extremism is considered to be the issue of identity, only in this case the issue revolves around and what it means to be ‘European’ or taken at a national level, what it means to be Hungarian, French, German, etc. (Kallis, Zeiger, Ozturk, 2018: 14) Far-right violent extremists believe to have the correct and most ‘pure’ interpretation of the ‘true identity’, thus justifying acts of violence or hate speech against anyone not fitting within that interpretation. Although much attention has been paid to the use of social media for the organization of religious-based extremist groups, the radical right has also made great use of the on-line platform and thus deserves the equal attention. Barlet (2001) locates the beginnings of the use of digital communications by the radical-right back to 1984, and the launch of several Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) including Info International Network, Aryan Liberty Net, and the White Aryan Resistance Net, predating the ‘birth’ of the modern internet by five years. Yet, the most obvious date for the beginning of their use of the internet is considered to be 1996, when the world’s best known and most widely visited radical-right website, Stormfront.org, was registered with ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The fact that the right-wing radicalisation predates the on-line platforms should be used as a caution against treating ‘online radicalisation’ as a generic problem, and instead of understanding that it is component of broader radicalisation processes in a society. 4.2 Left-wing extremism Left-wing extremists aims at challenging the existing state and social order by replacing democracy with a communist or anarchist system. To achieve this, these groups or individuals participate in social protests and actions, which can range from open agitations to some
serious acts of violence. Ham et al. (2018) give a comprehensive list of some of the main themes embraced by left-wing extremists such as: - “seeking a classless society without borders or states (anarchism); - resistance to asylum and migration policies, including resistance to repatriation of refugees and to raising barriers to counteract migration; - preventing animal suffering; - preventing environmental pollution and actions related thereto; - resistance against ‘extreme right-wing’ parties and groups to prevent that their voice be heard (antifascism and antiracism).” (2018: 3) 4.3.Single-Issue extremism A single issue, rather than a social, political or religious cause in the gravitational center of this extremism. The change of the status quo is the inspirational axes behind this phenomenon. The themes range from animal rights to environment, abortion and nuclear technology. The main motivation behind those actions is the urge to force the society to change its attitudes towards a certain cause.
 More on the various stages of radicalization which can lead to terrorism as described in the Staircase of Terrorism model can be found in Moghaddam, F.M. (2005), “The staircase to terrorism: a psychological exploration”. American Psychologist, 60(2), 161-169.  Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Radicalisation: A Guide for the Perplexed (Ottawa: RCMP, 2009),
p. 1; op. cit. Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller, ‘The Edge of Violence: Towards Telling the Difference between Violent and Non-Violent Radicalisation’, Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2012), p. 2.  Precht, Tomas. “Home grown terrorism and Islamist radicalization in Europe.” Research report funded by the Danish Ministry of Justice. December 2007. <http://www.justitsministeriet.dk/sites/default/files/media/Arbejdsomraader/Forskning/Fors kningspuljen/2011/2007/Home_grown_terrorism_and_Islamist_radicalisation_in_Europe_-
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debates in press and online media. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 3:1 (2015), 41–56.
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http://www.researchforprogress.us/topic/34691/when-hate-went-online, accessed 28 April, 2001.  Burris, Val, Emery Smith, and Ann Strahm. “White Supremacist Networks on the Internet,” Sociological Focus 33, no. 2, (2000): 215-235.  Peter R. Neumann (2013): Options and Strategies for Countering Online Radicalization in the United States,
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Chapter 2 Youth work and prevention of violent radicalisation 1.
Youth work 1.1 Why youth work? Europe needs its young people, just as young people need Europe. Young people will contribute actively to Europe’s democratic values and its economic prosperity. Young people have a responsibility to make this contribution but, in order to do so, countries have a responsibility to establish the conditions, opportunities and experiences for young people to flourish. Though now something of a cliché, young people need to be considered as a force for good, and not as a problem to be solved. To that end, young people need an ‘opportunityfocused’ rather than ‘problem-oriented’ approach, one that extends and ensures young people’s access to the social rights and entitlements that secure their full participation in society and supports the fulfilment of their individual potential and capacity to contribute to positive social change. Youth research consistently reminds us that transitions for young people from, for example schooling to the labour market, dependent to independent living, and families of origin to families of destination, have become significantly more challenging over the past generation. Transitions are more uncertain, take longer and are no longer linear; indeed, they are reversible as young people, in some circumstances, return home after living independently or become parents before attaining economic autonomy. Modern societies are, of course, characterised by many new opportunities for young people, represented by both physical and virtual mobility, but alongside such possibilities are new risks and vulnerabilities. In modern Europe, such risks are unequally distributed, both within and between countries, and increasingly experienced, not just by young people in difficult circumstances but also by young people who would have previously been described as ‘ordinary kids’ with reasonably promising prospects. For young people to realise their potential and make successful transitions, and eventually to take responsibility for their personal, civic and working lives, they need to benefit from a ‘package’ of experiences and opportunities in their family lives, their learning contexts and their leisure time. Some young people can access the opportunities they need with the aid of family support, as well as through their determination and personal motivation. Many other young people do not have available to them this sort of assistance, and the support they need to access opportunities has to come from other sources - through provision by public authorities, especially at regional and local levels, and through NGOs or independent agencies established for this purpose. The package needed is a mosaic of enabling and formative experiences in addition to formal schooling, such as mobility, exchanges, advice and information, counselling, guidance and coaching, engagement with new technologies and social media, and social and political participation. In effect, this is the ‘offer’ that young people in the 21st century need to access one way or another if they are both to make effective transitions to adulthood and play an active part in civil society and the labour market.
One element of that mosaic is youth work. Young people learn through a variety of means, across a spectrum of formality, but the learning needs of young people, particularly around the acquisition of what are often called ‘life skills’ (such as critical thinking, teamwork, communication, problem solving and decision making), can often be met through youth work. That is, through planned and purposeful out-of-school learning that is aligned with the idea of ‘non-formal learning’. Youth work takes many forms and is often celebrated for its diversity, flexibility and responsiveness, in relation to both the different and changing circumstances and the aspirations of young people and to new social and political challenges created or experienced by young people. But this diversity of youth work from adult-led youth projects, clubs and programmes to youth-led self-governed youth organisations, also shares common ground: the desire to provide space for young people (a forum for young people to ‘be young’) and the simultaneous commitment to support bridges for personal development (a springboard for young people to ‘become adult’). Youth work helps young people to develop the skills and motivation for finding and pursuing constructive pathways in their lives. To that end, youth work is a critically complementary practice to formal education, to which all young people should have access and entitlement. 1.2 Definition of the concept What characterizes youth work? What actions fall under youth work? Are there any common principles to what is youth work? Who provides youth work? What kinds of activities are undertaken by those doing youth work? Is youth work defined by the target groups? By the activities? Or by the objectives? Youth work is extremely diversified. It is delivered by clubs and centres, youth movements, social welfare services, street workers, associations with diverse aims, etc. The activities through which youth work is provided can be grouped under the categories of culture, sport, leisure, education, environmental protection, civic engagement, international cooperation and development and so on. The aims of youth work range from personal development, prevention, social cohesion, to inclusion in employment or education, just citing the most common ones. It sometimes targets all young people without distinction and sometimes it is more focused on certain groups. Some organisations perform ‘youth work’ as part of their mission, but they also work with other target groups that can include children or adults. Given this diversity, is it possible to define what youth work is at all? Youth work is community support activity aimed at older children and adolescents. Depending upon the culture and the community, different services and institutions may exist for this purpose. In the United Kingdom youth work is the process of creating an environment where young people can engage in informal educational activities. Different varieties of youth work include centre-based work, detached work, school-based work and religion based work. Throughout the United States and Canada, youth work is any activity that seeks to engage young people in coordinated programs, including those that are recreational, educational, or social by nature and design.
"Youth work" is often defined as activities that intentionally seek to impact young people. This is primarily a set of loosely affiliated activities that have been defined, redefined, examined, and reinvented in subsequent generations. In Ireland the Youth Work Act of 2001 states that, “youth work” means a planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is— (a) complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and (b) provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations. However, critics of this particular definition report that, "This definition sees youth work primarily in terms of the development of the young person. Some would argue that this is a limited view and that central to a definition of youth work is the notion that youth work should aim to engage with society and bring about social change in an unequal society." According to the European Union youth work is a broad term covering a broad scope of activities of a social, cultural, educational or political nature by, with and for young people. Increasingly, such activities also include sport and services for young people. Youth work belongs to the area of ‹out-of-school› education, as well as specific leisure time activities managed by professional or voluntary youth workers and youth leaders. Youth work is organised in different ways (by youth led organisations, organisations for youth, informal groups or through youth services and public authorities). It is delivered in different forms and settings (e.g. open-access, group-based, programme-based, outreach and detached) and is given shape at local, regional, national and European level. The values of youth work are: respect, dialogue approach, relation work (trust), inclusive approach, positive approach, tailor-made intervention, flexibility, voluntary based, nonformal and informal learning methodology, resource perspective (building on the young person’s potential), youth advocacy. The Council of Europe is in same line as the European union where within their Youth work recommendation they provide a similar definition of youth work: Youth work is a broad term covering a wide variety of activities of a social, cultural, educational, environmental and/or political nature by, with and for young people, in groups or individually. Youth work is delivered by paid and volunteer youth workers and is based on non-formal and informal learning processes focused on young people and on voluntary participation. Youth work is quintessentially a social practice, working with young people and the societies in which they live, facilitating young people’s active participation and inclusion in their communities and in decision making. Despite different traditions and definitions, there is a common understanding that the primary function of youth work is to motivate and support young people to find and pursue constructive pathways in life, thus contributing to their personal and social development and to society at large. Youth work achieves this by empowering and engaging young people in the active creation, preparation, delivery and evaluation of initiatives and activities that reflect their needs,
interests, ideas and experiences. Through this process of non-formal and informal learning, young people gain the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they need in order to move forward with confidence. In order to facilitate these outcomes, youth work should create an enabling environment that is actively inclusive and socially engaging, creative and safe, fun and serious, playful and planned. It should be characterised by accessibility, openness and flexibility and at the same time promote dialogue between young people and the rest of society. It should focus on young people and create spaces for association and bridges to support transition to adulthood and autonomy. 2 Youth work and prevention of radicalisation 2.1 Background Within the last years, especially after the series of unfortunate events that put the topic of prevention of violent radicalisation and extremism high on the political agenda, there has been many efforts to explore possibilities and approaches of using youth work in order to tackle and prevent radicalisation. According to the European Agenda on Security (2015), the OSCE report “Working with youth and for youth” (2015) and the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (2016), nowadays young people are increasingly confronted with the threat of radicalisation. The process of radicalisation affects the European youth equally encompassing political, social, or religious affiliations and leads to the same outcome: a militancy based on a radical ideology of hate and exclusion, on which for instance both young neo-Nazis and young Muslim extremists draw. This phenomenon originates mostly from political and/or religious organisations promoting radical value systems among young people, which are appealing in as much as they offer to paint the complexity of the world black and white. Budget cuts have left youth work and young people particularly vulnerable. On the one hand youth workers need recognition and tools to empower them to deal with radicalisation prevention, while young people need good quality support services and safe spaces for dialogue and personal expression. Extremism and radicalisation are unfortunately not new topics in Europe; what is maybe new are new composing factors and the after-terrorism impoverished image of young people devalued, stigmatised, , often described as ’’a problem that needs fixing’’ or publicly discriminated. At European level there are already existing tools in youth work dealing with the preventive role of youth work dealing with extremist youth behaviors. However, there is not enough effort into getting to know, putting together and looking to harmonise tools and best practices. Youth work as such helps us to look at ways of addressing the impoverished image of young people that are devalued and stigmatised, sometimes referred in public discourse as ‘’problem to be fixed’’ or worse a ‘’ticking time bomb’’. Youth work provides tools and practices where young people are and feel active and involved, tools that valorise young people in their multiple and diverse identity, as well as tools through which youth workers can also feel empowered to deal with these problems and that allow youth workers to react to quick changes.
With the fast pace of events taking place today in term of youth extremism and ‘’radicalisation’’ there is an urgent need to harmonise initiatives at national and European level. In addition, a lot still needs to be done in terms of recognition of youth work's role in the field of prevention and support of youth in general, not just youth at risk of radicalisation. Also sometimes the political level through different actions, like irresponsible discourses reinforcing cultural or gender stereotypes, is erasing actions that have been led and invested through youth work for a long time. In the context of youth policy and European youth policy It is also important to remember politicians that they cannot simply defer matters of youth and extremism to youth workers; that they need to also have an active role, be a part of the solution and well as support and recognise initiatives and practices that are making a real difference on the prevention role that youth work is playing on the overall. Still as a systematic issue, policies should target support and encourage collaboration among different fields including youth work sector, social work, formal education, police, employment agencies etc. 2.2 Youth work tools and approaches to prevent radicalisation Youth work has developed a lot of different tools and approaches that contribute towards prevention of violent radicalisation. Within this handbook we will elaborate specific tools and practices in Chapter 3 and here we will point out specific aspects in which youth work has an effect. One of the main roles of youth work, in the context of prevention work, is to support and promote youth participation through different youth work activities. This is done through stimulating continuous, meaningful participation of young people as a main condition for inclusiveness, sustainability and peace. Youth work showcases the need of young people to leave in peace and stability and their efforts to achieve it. By this it is acknowledged the fact that only a small minority of young people actually engages in violence. By promoting this narrative of young people as change makers to all sectors and stakeholders (local, regional, national, European authorities, family, schools etc), we are directly supporting youth in development and implementation of meaningful initiatives for taking an active role within the society. This is the main tool of youth work when it comes to prevention of radicalisation. Through this approaches youth work builds positive relationships between young people and adult mentors, who can help guide them during life transitions and support them achieve their full potential. Another tool that youth work uses a lot is the promotion of intercultural dialogue and diversity. This is done mostly through creating safe spaces where young people could challenge their views and perceptions, through experiential learning processes, and raise awareness about the diversity among youth, and the different conditions in which they have grown up. Youth work practices appreciate the diversity, and inclusion of young people from diverse backgrounds, taking into account differences in age, gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, class, caste, education, social status, place of residence (rural/urban), sexual orientation, physical and intellectual abilities, interests, etc. Through the different youth work activities young people are supported to understand better their identity and engage meaningfully with the society.
Some youth work practices are focusing specifically on engagement of NEET youth, and hard to reach groups, which are often noted as the youth at risk of radicalisation. Still in order to have a holistic approach, youth workers should be collaborating activelty with other youth workers and youth organisations, challenging their approaches for inclusion and setting up strategies on more impactful work addressing exclusion and discrimination. These practical strategies are often used as the backbone for development of different youth policies and programs for tackling exclusion and radicalisation. This is often done in order to have effective reaching out strategies, especially towards young people who are showing signs of radicalisation, by offering them space and support for active engagement in youth work. The main approach for reaching out is de-attached youth work. The Detached Youth Work Programme is an outreach programme that engages with vulnerable and socially excluded young people and helps them connect with supports that will aid them in addressing their needs and achieves successful outcomes. While the target population for this programme may have needs in relation to issues as diverse as mental health, sexual health, and homelessness, most young people engaged struggle with substance misuse. This programme identifies â€œhot spotsâ€? in a locality, then the Detached Youth Workers routinely visit these areas and gain the trust of targeted young people by talking to them and explaining who they are and what they do. The resulting relationship, based on mutual respect, is a productive and effective method at engaging marginalised young people and assisting them to find solutions to their problems. The effectiveness of this programme is primarily demonstrated by the numbers of young people engaged each night, how many hours are spent engaged with the youths, and how many youths are referred to other agencies that focus on the youthâ€™s needs. Through youth work, one of the most common used approach is directly developing professional and social skills by steering young people towards different learning opportunities with different organisations, movements and/or institutions. This educational programs are often the missing gap for young people, to feel part of the society where they are heard, and they can actively contribute by organizing their initiatives. By them young people are not only educated about their rights, but also about the social responsibility they have towards the community. Through this youth work is creating opportunities for young people to share goals and aspirations with adults in addition to one another; capitalize on their experiences and assets; and engage in multiple areas, including social, emotional, moral, spiritual, civic, vocational, physical, cognitive, personal and cultural development. Youth work is usually the first reference for supporting young people and ensuring proper mental health by establishing a supportive environment that provides physical, social and emotional safeness. Youth work facilitates the links to additional services such as psychologists, employment agencies, justice departments, especially for young people that has suffered from different traumatic moments, which directly prevents the risk for them to be radicalized. Youth work in the field of prevention has the responsibility to recognize the specific grievances or vulnerabilities that young people may have, acknowledge the inequalities in the society and develop violence-prevention strategies that go beyond simple security responses and encompass prevention of violence in the family, school and community.
2.3 Working with young people online and offline Around the globe, social media tools have helped fuel social movements. Social media has been shown to strengthen social actorsâ€™ ability to challenge and change power relations in society, providing platforms for debate, reflection, influencing and mobilizing people. The technological breakthroughs in the past years has influenced towards a constant digitalization of the society in all sectors. Needless to say, young people are growing up as digital natives, linked with a variety of different platforms, internet tools and new media. Education, and especially youth work, should keep track with the developments and go through a process incorporating the different new media tools and platforms for facilitating more engaging and inclusive opportunities. In order to fully benefit from the application of ICT in youth work, some factors must be taken into consideration: the development of transversal skills; the construction of an active global citizenship; the increasing need for a personalized, autonomous and flexible learning process; the engagement of marginalized youth, often left out of face-to-face projects. In addition to that, the new forms of technology-based participation can be more in tune with how young people usually communicate. ICT tools should be implemented particularly concerning theoretical and analytical modules, but games, examples, graphics and animation are mandatory, in order to maximize motivation and engagement of participants within youth work processes. In accordance to the principle of collaborative learning, cooperation and communication between the learners involved in the project must always be fostered. When talking about the role of youth work in prevention of radicalisation is crucial to discuss about social inclusion. Within the core values of youth work is to provide safe and participatory space, to experience different situations and learn from them, learn how to behave in different situations, and empower young people to participate, no matter of their background. Youth work can be a second chance that could have a strong impact for youngs, but nowadays NGO activity in non formal education is sometimes accused of elitism, ignoring people less involved in youth organizations. Thanks to innovative ITC tools, the participants engaging in youth work processes can enjoy a more open-access approach to non-formal education, facilitating the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities. The learning activities within youth work are created to attend the young peopleâ€™s interests, on a voluntary basis and learner-centered, thanks to a holistic approach based on intercultural, safe environments of trust and sharing experiences. This methods provide added value for young people, for the economy and society, and technological innovations in education foster skills and competencies needed in the 21st century, ensuring that learners have the digital literacy skills required in their everyday life. By building these competences in young people, it is directly working on prevention of their radicalisation. Nevertheless, although the online and offline worlds are merging, and it is influencing youth work a lot, technology is not sufficiently implemented in the learning process, and when it is, it runs the risk of being an ineffective support to learning due to the insufficient digital competences of youth workers. In order to build the competences and capacities of young people and create resilience towards violent radicalization in them, the youth workers also have to have a set of specific competences and knowledge.
Self-assessment is the process of looking at oneself in order to assess aspects that are important to one's identity. In this regards this portfolio aims to promote self-assessment among youth workers and to motivate them to work towards self-evaluation, along with selfverification and self-enhancement. This is one of the main competence for youth workers, with which they could reflect on their competences, and what they still need to work on, in order to achieve their goals and deliver youth work processes for PVE. Competence is the “ability to do something successfully or efficiently”. The term is often used interchangeably with the term ‘skill’, although they are not the same. Two elements differentiate competence from skill, and make competence more than skill. When one person is competent, they can apply what they know to do a specific task or solve a problem and they are able to transfer this ability between different situations. There are many youth workers competency models which provide a set of skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors needed for youth workers. Within this handbook we will give reference to two largely accepted models around Europe. •
“A Competence Model for Youth Workers to Work Internationally”1 which is part of the European Training strategy developed by SALTO-YOUTH. This model focuses more on competences for youth workers dealing on international level. In this regards as the prevention of violent radicalization is happening most often on a very local level, many of the competences analyzed are more general, however it can be a very valuable tool to use as it provides a very detailed and elaborate scope and set of competences. The Youth Work Competence Portfolio of the Youth department of the Council of Europe2, as the second relevant competency framework, is a tool for assessing youth work competence and for planning how to develop it. The Portfolio looks at those things which youth work usually or most commonly does. We call these functions of youth work. From these functions of youth work, the Portfolio tries to understand better what youth workers should be able to do, in other words, the competences youth workers need to have in order to do youth work. The competences that one needs to have in order to do youth work have been divided into two categories: - Specific youth work competences – competences that make this field of activity unique - More general competences – competences relevant for other fields of activity but which are usually important for youth work Together the identified functions and competences make up what we call the Portfolio competence framework.
In the early 1990s Karen Pittman, an early advocate for positive youth development, coined the phrase "Problem-free isn't fully prepared". 3 Pittman led the charge to shift the paradigm in youth work from preventing and "fixing" behavior deficits to building and nurturing "all the beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, attributes, and skills that result in a healthy and productive adolescence and adulthood". 4 Building on available youth development research and theory, Pittman offered the model of 5 Cs as a framework for understanding positive youth development outcomes5: • Confidence - a sense of self-worth and mastery; having a sense of self-efficacy (belief in one's capacity to succeed) •
Character - taking responsibility; a sense of independence and individuality; connection to principles and values
Connection - a sense of safety, structure, and belonging; positive bonds with people and social institutions
Competence - the ability to act effectively in school, in social situations, and at work
Contribution - active participation and leadership in a variety of settings; making a difference In his 2007 book "The Good Teen," Richard M. Lerner includes an additional outcome: • Caring - a sense of sympathy and empathy for others; commitment to social justice •
By looking at the six C’s presented through the positive youth development theory we would see six main categories, there are sort of general understanding of what each category would mean but also, if you are a practitioner and engaged with youth work already then you would have your own definitions for each category reflecting your accumulated knowledge and practices that would enable your organization achieve its own mission and goals. Another valuable aspect to be considered when working in the area of transforming violent extremism is providing young people with alternative and positive narrative. There is a need to migrate from the mindset of acting against, combating and countering approaches since this in itself is not innovative nor provides solutions to the phenomena of being engaged with violent extremism. Moreover, stemming from the mindset of prevention and transforming in the first place then this makes a lot of sense and even leads to having concrete interventions based on tangible and engaging objectives.
Pittman, K. (1999). Youth Today: The Power of Engagement. Forum for Youth Investment.
New York State Advancing Youth Development Partnership. (2006). Revised AYD Curriculum. 5
Pittman, K., Irby, M., Tolman, J., N. Yohalem, N., & Ferber, T. (2003). Preventing Problems, Promoting Development, Encouraging Engagement. Forum for Youth Investment.
Effective engaging is not a technical word it is an approach that can be actioned into everyday life, this particular point is what really matters and makes the difference, being able to relate to the things we work with or read or come across our way.
Chapter 3 Tools, practices and approaches COUNTERING ON-LINE RADICALISATION / EUROPEAN INITIATIVES There are many initiatives and attempts to combat on-line radicalisation and extremism. One such means is to “restrict freedom of speech and remove content from the Internet which is neither desirable, nor doable or effective” (Neuman 2013) A more efficient strategy would be to reduce the demand for radicalisation and extreme messages by encouraging civic challenges - alternative and “counter alternative narratives (discrediting, countering, and confronting) to extremist ones, and promoting awareness and critical media literacy among young people to question and counteract to messages they encounter on line. Another necessary strategy is to exploit online communications in order to gain intelligence, gather evidence and pursue investigations (ibid.). One of the manners to reduce demand for violent content is to create an online environment where extremism, terrorism, and other bad ideas are drowned out by pluralism, democracy, and peaceful means through which good ideas can be advanced. Governments can play a key role in this initiative by creating awareness (spread awareness about online radicalisation among parents, teachers, and community leaders, so they are able to detect, report and react), and build capacity to ensure alternative voices. This can be done by equipping groups with the skills and knowledge to design messages and disseminate them among those most susceptible to online radicalisation. Counter-messaging is a process in which people are exposed to messages specifically designed to counter the appeal of extremism. In the cyberspace, these messages can be delivered through websites, blogs, videos, Facebook groups, Tweets, and other types of online media. Another way of counteracting on-line radicalisation is by visiting virtual places where extremist messages are being produced and engage actual and potential violent extremists in dialogue and discussion. (Neuman 2013). Finally, one of the most important and efficient mechanisms to combat on-line extremism is by fostering media literacy. This may be carried out in different forms, through awareness raising campaigns warning about grooming behavior, spreading information about the likely consequences of becoming involved in violent extremist activity, and reminders to always question people’s online identities. This can also take more institutional forms like “being embedded in the wider curriculum on media literacy that teaches young people how to use media critically, to evaluate and question sources, and to distinguish information that is plausible and trustworthy from information that is not.” Neuman 2013:448). Many governments are making efforts to invest in the education of the public through different Media and Information Literacy (MIL) initiatives and programs. These are intended to fight against misinformation and propaganda and develop critical skills and critical understanding of media (through active, critical pedagogies). They also aim to enhance digital literacy, contribute to improving intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and peace, promote human rights, freedom of expression, and counter hate by producing knowledge for critical thinking. (Alava et al. 2017) In the past few years there have been attempts to formalize such initiatives and institutionalize them in many European countries.
The 2014 Paris Declaration on “Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Era” states that it is high time to place MIL at the core of instruction at all levels of formal education, and it needs to be promoted in non-formal and informal educational setting as well. In this context, UNESCO has launched the timely Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Yearbook 2016, entitled Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalisation and Extremism, “highlighting the need for such literacy to be carried out in schools and outside schools, including families. (Alava et al. 2017) Governments can combat on-line radicalisation by exploiting the cyberspace in order to gain strategic intelligence about terrorist groups’ intentions and networks, gain tactical intelligence on terrorist operations and collect evidence useful in prosecutions. What can help in this respect, beside cooperation with the citizens are the achievements of the Social Informatics and Intelligence and Security informatics (Agarwal 2015) ; Ferarra et al. 2016). Research in these areas have used computer technology to create machine learning framework that helps detect extremist users, estimate whether regular users will adopt extremist content and predict whether users will reciprocate. The identification and prediction of online radicalisation and civil unrest events is possible through the use of different algorithms, techniques and tools to counter and combat cyber-extremism and predicting protest related events in much advance. Some of the techniques include Clustering, Logistic Regression and Dynamic Query Expansion, graph modeling, Classification KNN, Naive Bayes, Support Vector Ma-chine, Rule Based Classi_er, Decision Tree, Cluster-ing (Blog Spider), Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA), Topical Crawler/Link Analysis (Breadth First Search, Depth First Search, Best First Search) and Keyword Based Flagging (KBF) Text classification (automatic and semi-supervised learning), clustering (unsupervised learning), Finally, there are a number of existing policy frameworks on the European level that support anti-radicalisation initiatives such as: (Feraguto et al. 2018): 1. The convention on Cybercrime (2001) - cybercrime. 2. Declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance
and non-discrimination through education, also known as the Paris declaration (2015), by which several European education Ministers have declared their commitment to the “efforts to prevent and tackle marginalisation, intolerance, racism and radicalisation and to preserve a framework of equal opportunities for all”. 3. Strategic framework – Education & Training 2020, as a support to the Paris declaration. 4. The reform for data protection 2018 5. EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, with a brief to respond to the risk of radicalisation online as part of the European Agenda on Security. 6. The UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office’s Online Radicalisation Guidance) In addition to legal frameworks, there have also been few private initiatives in several European countries such as the British online hash tag based initiative “Not in My Name” (voicing the attitude of young Muslims who do not support radicalism; initiated by young British Muslims in order to “show their solidarity against ISIS and their actions.), and Exit Germany providing alternative exits for members of extreme ideologies, particularly right
wing, and other measures undertaken by SNS. In 2018, Twitter partnered with academics to apply new measures regarding hate speech, and changing the metrics of the social media application. Facebook also went on to prohibit hate speech on the website. If there is a post with apparent hate speech, the post gets deleted, banned and the user either banned or blocked. Finally, CSOs are underused as source of counter-radicalisation (Brussels paper), in the process of countering radicalisation online and offline despite the multiple advantages that their empowerment could provide.
Countering radicalisation through education The complexity and multilayered nature of radicalisation discussed earlier are clearly a sign that there is no simple solution to treating this phenomenon. We listed a number of European policies that support anti-radicalisation initiatives. However, it must be noted that these policies together with the numerous security responses are important yet insufficient in the treatment of the underlying conditions or radicalisation and the formation of violent extremist youth groups. Macasulo (2016) points to the ambivalent relationship between radicalisation and education and the dangers of intervening at the level of primary and secondary education when attempting to identify early signs of radicalisation. These approaches, Macasulo argues, targeting individuals who belong to the same ethnic or religious group have often “weakened social cohesion by demonizing certain communities and underscoring stereotypes.” (2016: 1). In this sense, her argument that instead of reinforcing counter radicalisation measures, “schools should be a forum in which values are questioned and openly discussed, in which critical thinking and the exchange of different ideas and perspectives are encouraged” (1) should seriously be taken into consideration when discussing good educational activities addressing radicalisation. In what follows we will look at some current practices and suggestions for addressing radicalisation in education. Firstly, the European Commission Department for Immigration and Home Affairs has launched the Radicalisation Awareness Network focusing on the need to better equip teachers so they can play a crucial role in preventing radicalisation. RAN is a network of frontline or grassroots practitioners from around Europe who work daily with people who have already been radicalised, or who are vulnerable to radicalisation. Practitioners include police and prison authorities, teachers, youth workers, civil society representatives, local authorities representatives and healthcare professionals. RAN has 9 working groups, each one tailored for targeting specific areas of radicalisation. The Education Working Group - RAN EDU – is the one focused on bringing together first-line education practitioners throughout Europe to empower them to counter radicalisation. The core premise of this group is that schools have the objective to provide a safe and respectful environment for their students and that teaching democratic and social values, and helping students form their identity should be one of the central aims of schools. The RAN Policy Paper entitled Transforming Schools into Labs for Democracy: A companion to prevention violent radicalisation through education (2018) is a good source of suggestions and educational practices addressing radicalisation. The authors of this policy paper emphasize the fact that extremist ideologies are most often based on unchallenged leadership and absolute authority. Put within the framework of the two most worrying emanations of radicalisation in Europe today – right-wing and religious extremism – both ideologies call for the ultimate rule of the leader/nation for the former and
God for the latter. This is to say that these ideologies spread the idea of homogenous collectivities, sharing timeless ideal and values. To counter this, schools must be the environment which cultivates the democratic school ethos. On the long run, this approach should encourage the freedom of opinion, discussion and respect of minority rights, equality before the law, and the right to life as core principles of democracy. Among the suggestions offered the authors of the policy paper list several ways that might break the concept of fixed, homogenous identities and nurture diversity instead. Among others, they list “teaching about immigration as a regular social phenomenon, exploring biographical work on diverse family histories, and comparing representations of diversity in contemporary literature, film and arts.” (RAN EDU Policy Paper 2018: 13). The Finish National Agency for Education on the Prevention of Violent Radicalisation emphasizes the fact that the key point for addressing this issue within education is to enhance empathy and interaction skills and to do things collectively. As the authors specify, “the young person about whose situation there are concerns must be included in everything and an attempt must be made to include the person in the community instead of, for example, excluding the person because of the threat he or she may pose.” (2018, 13). Some of the cornerstones of successfully addressing radicalisation in education is, according to the authors of this work, tied to several aspects. Firstly, teachers must have basic knowledge of violent extremism. In addition to this, they need to be well informed and possibly trained on the possible signs and reasons of radicalisation as well as the influence of the media, given the proliferation of on-line radicalisation. Finally, they must have some practical tools and the confidence to have a discussions with children and young people about a number of controversial topics. The UNESCO’s Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (2016) lists a number of useful aspects to be taken into account when trying to constructively address radicalisation in the classroom. Discussions are often a very productive way of engaging young people in channeling out their ideas and opinions yet they must be carried out under a set of guidelines in order to be more successful when treating this highly volatile issue. Among the suggestions listed are preparing well before the class discussion in order to reduce the fear of discussing controversial topics (2016, 21). The learning objectives must be precise, a permission from the school director and sometimes even from the students should be asked for, and finally, reviewing information about the topic beforehand to address misconceptions and myths are the key aspects of a potentially successful discussion. Teachers should also avoid any engagement in conversation beyond what they feel emotionally and professionally prepared for. In addition to the prepared discussion the teachers should recognize the socalled teachable moments, that is, opportunities that arise in the spur of the moment. Being a good listener, observant and creative is crucial in those moments.  Among the topics that can open a constructive discussion and touch the basis of violent extremism the UNESCO’s guide lists citizenship, history, religious beliefs, languages, freedom of expression and the internet, gender equality and gender-based violence, and art. These are also topics that should be dealt with if a teacher wants to follow the core principles of multicultural education. The debate on citizenship can engage students in a discussion on belonging, identity, justice. The history topic is indeed a volatile one but can engage the students in critical thinking about political violence, prejudice, hate propaganda, and racism. Such topics including the ones from the sphere of religion, gender and art can be brought into any class, and adjusted to the needs of that particular class, while still engaging the students in a critical thinking process and paving the way towards a constructive curriculum transformation.
According to Banks (1993) schools frequently operate with a male-centric and Eurocentric curriculum. Banks calls this the mainstream curriculum. This curriculum can be a source of several problems that can trigger students to alienate themselves or seek other sources of identifying with a collective. Among other things, this curriculum:
Ignores fully the experiences, voices, contributions, and perspectives of non-dominant individuals and groups in all subject areas. At this stage, all educational materials, including textbooks, films, and other teaching and learning tools, present information in a Eurocentric, male-centric way. •
This stage is harmful both for students who identify with dominant culture and those from non-dominant groups. It has negative consequences for the former because, according to Banks (1993), it “reinforces their false sense of superiority, gives them a misleading conception of their relationship with other racial and ethnic groups, and denies them the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge, perspectives, and frames of reference that can be gained from studying and experiencing other cultures and groups” (p. 195).
It also further alienates students who already struggle to survive in a school culture that differs so greatly from their home cultures.
In order to create a teaching environment that doesn’t simply follow a mainstream curriculum educators should avoid simple approaches, like the so-called contribution approach which focuses on holidays, heroes, and discrete cultural elements thus often trivializing the contributions and struggles on non-dominant groups.  More detailed information on the Radicalisation Awareness Network can be found at
https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-wedo/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/about-ran/ran-edu_en  https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-wedo/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/about-ran/ranedu/docs/ran_edu_transforming_schools_into_labs_for_democracy_2018_en.pdf  For a more detailed overview and tips on how to open, close and handle such discussions in general see more in UNESCO A Teacher's guide on the prevention of violent extremism (2016).
 See, for example: Furlong, A. and Cartmel, F. (1997), Young people and Social Change, Buckingham: Open University Press; Helve, H. and Evans, K. (2013), Youth and work transitions in changing social landscapes, London: Tufnell Press; Woodman, D. and Wyn, J. (2015), Youth and Generation: Rethinking Change and Inequality in the Lives of Young People, London: Sage.
 Williamson, H. (2015) Finding common ground: Mapping and scanning the horizons for European youth work in the 21st century - Towards the 2nd European Youth Work Convention
 Smith, M. (2001) Definition, tradition and change in youth work Encyclopedia of Informal Education  Jenkinson, H. (2000). "Youth work in Ireland the struggle for identity," Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies,  Council conclusions on the contribution of quality youth work to the development, well-being and social inclusion of young people (2013/C 168/03)
 Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on youth work
Practical training sessions/activities: 1.
Who am I? Exploring identity a. Identity pie b. Identity lenses c. Onion of identity Me and the others; Intercultural learning & diversity a. Creating links b. Abigale c. All equal â€“ all different d. Who are I Hate speech, critical thinking & narratives a. Freedom Unlimited? b. What did you see? c. Propaganda or not? d. What really happened?
Who am I? Exploring identity a.
Duration: 60 min Group size: 10 – 15 participants Age: 13+ Objective: To provide the space to participants to reflect on their personal identity and different group and cultures they are belonging Description of the activity: Personal characteristics (some changeable, others not), which may influence an individual’s basic selfimage and sense of identity, may also influence experiences in the workplace. Primary dimensions of diversity are essentially unchangeable personal characteristics (e.g., sex, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and physical and mental abilities). Secondary dimensions of diversity, on the other hand, are changeable personal characteristics that are acquired and may be modified or abandoned throughout life (e.g., education, income, Marital and parental status, political affiliation, and work experience). People also distinguish themselves in many other ways, such as in their choices of collegiate fraternities or sororities, hobbies, activities, clothing and grooming style, and music. Of course, secondary characteristics are not completely self-determined; educational background, work experience, income, and marital status are affected by others’ decisions. However, people generally have more control over secondary dimensions of diversity than over primary dimensions. Because individuals’ sense of identity is influenced by self-selected groups, this exercise examines how people categorize themselves in their group affiliations along the many different dimensions of both types of diversity. Step 1: Working individually, list the different group affiliations that have some importance for you. These affiliations may be based on any of the primary or secondary dimensions of diversity mentioned above or on some other personal characteristic that is particularly important to you (e.g., cat lover, football fan, human rights activist). Step 2: Walk around and discuss/share with the group the different group affiliations you have Step 3: Individually create a pie chart with the group affiliations that have some importance in your self-concept. Indicate the approximate importance of each group affiliation by the size of the slice of pie that you assign to it. Step 3: Than in plenary present quickly your chart (1min per person max). Step 4: Start a discussion: What did you learned about yourself? What surprised you the most in your pie chart? What group affiliations were mentioned the most? What did you learn about others that surprised you? How does your self-identity influence your experiences in different settings?
Duration: 45 min Group size: 10+ Age: 13+ Objective: To explore and value different perspectives when it comes to identity Description of the activity: Participants learn to consider a person’s identity from different perspectives. Participants draw a circle with a cross in the middle. In each corner of the circle they write down one of their identities. Participants then reflect on how their perspective on an issue might change if they emphasised one of their identities more than the others. Participants are encouraged to try to look with different lenses to understand more about the issues they face in their lives and society. Step 1: Ask participants to identify some of their important social identities (the social groups they belong to). For example their national identity (as a Estonian, British, Greek..), regional identity, gender identity (as a woman or a man), ethnic identity and identities related to personal interests or career (hip hop fan, football fan, doctor). Step2: Ask the group to consider their own and then share in pairs, a time when a particular identity felt very strong? Why did this happen? What did we feel? −− Example responses: ‘when I encountered people from another country I felt my national identity more than before’, ‘I felt proud because of what we had achieved’, ‘I was judged by someone else just because of my identity, I felt angry’. Step 3: Debrief • Ask the group to share examples in plenary. • Ask them - what have we learnt? − How we emphasise particular identities and this influences the way we see things. − By looking with different lenses we can see a bigger picture. − How and when do we think looking with different identity ‘lenses’ could help us as Active Citizens? − When we engage in dialogue, building trust and understanding with others, planning social action.
Onion of identity
Duration: 90 min Group size: any size Age: 13+ Objective: To enable the participants to understand themselves as an individual, what makes them, different things, inc. education, background, etc To raise awareness on the multi-characterization of each identity
To realize the differences/similarities among the group Description of the activity: 1st Step: Me and My Identity: The participants are shown the sample onion, composed of a center and 2 different layers of different colors. They are asked to cut their own onion. They should try to imagine themselves as the onion now, where each layer will be a different aspect of their identity. (From the centre, the things that they have from birth and difficult to change, the middle, things that are either from birth or gained later and difficult to change; the outer, things that are gained later and posibble to change). They are given 10 minutes to think and form their onion. 2nd Step: My onion-Your onion Participants are asked to get into pairs with someone else; compare their onions, discuss about the common and different things 3rd Step: OUR Onion The pairs are asked to form groups of 6 people (3 pairs together) and try to do the same thing as a bigger group this time. Moreover, this time they also try to create their group onion 4th Step: Let's Share The groups get back to the plenary to share their group onions. If there are other groups sharing similar identities, they go for a Mexican wave? 10 minutes 5th Step: Let's Digest Individual work: How is it when you were forming your onion? Difficult? Easy? How did you choose the most important part of your identity? Why are they important? What is the place of your identity in the society? Group work: Was it easier/more difficult compared to individual work? How did you choose the common identities? Does everybody feel being represented in the group onion? Are we all different?
Me and the others; Intercultural learning & diversity
Duration: 90 min Group size: 5+ Age: 13+ Objective: To help create links between people. To show participants how to interact, especially in terms of sharing similarities and differences, and creating links with others.
Description of the activity: Arrange in a circle one chair less than the number of participants. Tell participants to take a seat, and ask for one participant (A) to stand in the middle. Ask this participant to say something about themselves: a characteristic, a hobby, a talent, a taste, etc. If someone in the group shares this characteristic, they should then stand up too. Out of these people, one of them should give their chair to participant A and then in turn say something about themselves. This can then be repeated. If no one stands up, invite the person in the middle to say something else. After the activity initiate a discussion with this questions: - Did you have a lot or few similarities with the other participants? What influence did this have on how you felt during the activity? Do you think it is important to have similarities with others? - Which similarities or links did you discover with others in the group? - Were there some elements that were ‘unique’ in the group, when no one stood up? Or aspects where people should have stood up but did not? - Do you have any personal experiences where you have discovered similarities or links with others? Do you tend to focus on similarities or differences when you meet a new person? - Which similarities or links are superficial? - Which similarities are associated with your values or important things? - What would the world be like if everyone was the same? What would it be like if everyone was different? Variation: Each time the participants change place, indicate any links/similarities expressed on a piece of paper with names in different colours. This can become a kind of spider web where all the participants are linked together (a sociogram).
Duration: 45 - 60 min Group size: 5 - 30 Age: 13+
Objective: To help create links between people. To show participants how to interact, especially in terms of sharing similarities and differences, and creating links with others.
Description of the activity: Introduce the exercise to the participants as being one about finding out about different values. Ask everybody to read the story by him/herself and to rank each character (Abigale, Tom, Sinbad, Abigale’s mother, and John) according to their behaviour: Who acted worst? Who second worst? Etc. After most of the people have done their ranking, ask them to get together in small groups (3 to 6), to discuss about how they perceive the behaviour of the characters. The task of the small groups is to come up with a common list – a list that everybody in the small group can agree on. Ask them to avoid using mathematical methods in order to establish the list, but rather to build that list on the basis of a shared understanding of what is good and what is bad. After the small groups have come up with their lists, you can optionally repeat this phase by bringing two small groups together to form medium size groups (if you do that, don’t make the initial small groups larger than 4). Evaluate the exercise in plenary by first bringing together the results and by discussing the similarities and differences between them. Slowly move on to ask on which grounds people made their ranking. How could they decide what was good and what was bad behaviour? One focus of the evaluation is the relevance values have for us to determine what we think is good and what is bad. After having established that insight, the next step is to look at how easy or difficult it is to negotiate about values when having to establish a common list. You can ask people how they managed to come up with a common list – which arguments worked to convince them, and why, and where there was a border of being able to understand and/or follow the other. A possible follow up is to then look at where we learned what is good and what is bad – and what that tells us about what we have in common and what makes us different. The story: Abigale loves Tom who lives on the other side of the river. A flood has destroyed all bridges across the river, and has left only one boat afloat. Abigale asks Sinbad, the owner of the boat, to bring her to the other side. Sinbad agrees, but insists that Abigale has to sleep with him in return. Abigale does not know what to do and runs to her mother and asks her what she should do. Her mother tells Abigale that she does not want to interfere with Abigale’s own business. In her desperation Abigale sleeps with Sinbad who, afterwards, brings her across the river. Abigale runs to Tom to happily embrace him and tell him everything that has happened. Tom pushes her away bluntly and Abigale runs away. Not far from Tom’s house, Abigale meets John, Tom’s best friend. She tells everything that has happened to him as well. John hits Tom for what he has done to Abigale and walks away with her.
All equal – all different
Duration: 40 min Group size: 6 – 60 (small groups 3-4) Age: 13+
Objective: • To develop skills to read information critically and independently • To foster awareness of ethnocentrism and prejudice in themselves and others, and to develop intercultural learning skills Description of the activity: Step 1. Tell the participants that the following activity is a sort of quiz, but that the purpose is not to see who has got it right and who has got it wrong; it is just a starting point. Step 2. Hand out or display the two quotations. Allow five minutes for the participants to read them. Step 3. Then ask them individually to decide: a) The source of the first text; which book or document is it an extract from? b) Which country/region of the world the author of the second text comes from? Step 4. When everyone is ready, ask participants to get into small groups of about three people. Give them 20 minutes to discuss and analyse their individual choices. They should think about the following questions and if possible come up with a collective answer: • Why did they choose one answer in preference to others? • What do the texts say about the authors? • Why did the authors write these texts? • What comments do they have about the texts? Step 5. When the groups have finished, go round collecting the answers to question a) from each group. Invite the groups to state the reasons that led them to their choices. Then repeat the round collecting answers to question b). Record the answers on the flip chart. Step 6. Reveal the author, Said Al Andalusi (from Spain), and proceed to the debriefing and evaluation. The extracts were taken from a book by a famous scholar from Cordoba, Andalusia (in what is now Spain) who was born in 1029 AD / 420 AH. Said Al-Andalusi was a scholar well known for his wisdom and knowledge. For him, civilisation and science were very close to knowing the Holy Koran. He was not only learned in religion, but he also excelled in Arabic literature, medicine, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences. It should be remembered that at this time, the Mediterranean basin, and especially the Arab Kingdoms around it, constituted – for the author – the centre of “civilisation”. Knowledge was not nearly as advanced in “the North”, as Said calls northern Europe, as it was in the Arab world, Persia, China and India. Be aware that, depending on the group, you may need to give participants insights into how to read texts more critically. You may have to point out that the second text actually reveals a lot about the author, his appearance and his culture, for example, that he must have had curly hair and dark skin. Critical reading involves not only understanding the content of the text, but also thinking about the context, who the author is and why s/he writes what s/he does. Realising this is an important step to understanding how to read all messages (history, news, poems, song texts, etc) and to be aware of the values that they transmit. Step 7: Address the following questions (either in plenary or you can have smaller groups if needed): • Were participants surprised by the solution? • How did people make their original individual choices? Were they based on guesswork? Intuition? Or real knowledge? • Did people change their minds about their choices during the discussions in small groups? What made them change their minds? Peer pressure? Good arguments? • How did people defend their choices in the small group discussions? Did they stick to their choices tentatively or strongly? • Why did the author describe people from the North the way he did?
• What clues does the second text give us about the author, about his looks and about his culture? • To what extent is the author’s view the result of his own ethnocentric viewpoint and prejudice? Or is it fair to say that at that time the cultures in northern Europe were less “civilised” than his culture? • Can participants think of examples when they heard of or read about other people being addressed in similar ways? How would it feel to be considered as some kind of inferior people? • When people are not valued for what they are, what consequences often occur? Can they think of examples from history? And from the present? • What should we do to counter the effects of prejudice? Are there people or groups in the participants’ areas or countries that are also the subject of prejudice? Which ones? • Education is one way to combat prejudice. What else should be done?
Who are I
Duration: 25 min Group size: 8 + Age: 13+ Objective: • To increase understanding of the concept of identity and widen self awareness • To develop communication skills • To promote solidarity and respect Description of the activity: Step 1: To warm up, ask people to get into pairs to form buzz groups. Ask them to pretend that they are strangers and to introduce themselves to each other. Step 2: Now ask people to reflect what is interesting or important to know about someone else when you first meet, and brainstorm the general categories of information. For example, name, age, sex, nationality, family role, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, job/study, taste in music, hobbies, sports, general likes and dislikes and more. Step 3: Now explain that participants are going to find out how much each of them has in common with others in the group. Hand out the paper and pens and explain that the first step is for each of them to draw a representation of their identity. They should think of themselves like stars; aspects of their identity radiate out into their society. Ask people to consider the eight to ten most important aspects of their identity and to draw their personal star. Step 4: Tell people to go around and compare their stars. When they find someone else with whom they share a beam or ray, they should write that person’s name near the beam. (For example, if Jan and Parvez both have a “rapper” beam, they should write each other’s names along that beam). Allow 15 minutes for this. Step 5: Now come back into plenary and ask people to talk about how individual each of them was. You could ask: • Which aspects of identity do people have in common and which are unique? • How similar and how different are people in the group? Do people have more in common with each other than they have differences? Step 6: Finally, do a group brainstorm of the aspects of identity that people choose and those that they are born with. Write these up in two columns on the flip chart.
Now move on to discuss what people have discovered about themselves and about each other and the implications for human rights. • What did people learn about themselves? Was it hard to decide which were the ten most significant aspects of their identity? • Were people surprised at the results of comparing stars? Did they have more or less in common than they expected? • How did people feel about the diversity in the group? Did they feel it made the group more interesting to be in or does it make it more difficult to be or work together? • Were there any aspects of other people’s identity that participants felt strongly inclined to react to and say, “I am not.”? For example, I am not a football fan, not a fan of techno music, not a dog lover, not homosexual or not Christian. • How does identity develop? Which aspects are social constructs and which are inherent and fixed? • In relation to gender issues in particular, which aspects are social constructs and which are inherent and fixed? • Did participants write “woman” or “man”? What do people associate with the words “woman” and “man”? Are the associations the same for both sexes and for all men and all women? • How much are people judged by their individual identity and how much by the group that they belong to? • To what extent are people free to choose their own identity? What are the implications for themselves and their society, and especially for the human rights of equality and respect?
Hate speech, critical thinking & narratives
Freedom Unlimited? 
Duration: 45 min Group size: 12 - 20 Age: 13+ Objective: • To explore the concept of freedom of expression • To understand why freedom of expression is important – for individuals and for society • To look at the reasons why limiting freedom of expression may be needed to protect human rights, particularly where hate speech is involved Description of the activity: Step 1: Ask participants what ‘freedom of expression’ means to them. Collect ideas on a flipchart, inviting discussion of some of the following points if they are not raised by participants: – Does freedom of expression mean we can say whatever we want? – If you think certain ‘expressions’ should not be permitted, how could we decide what needs banning? Who should decide? – Apart from through speaking or writing, what are the other ways we ‘express’ ourselves (music, drama, images, body language, etc.)? Step 2: Do not attempt to ‘resolve’ the issues at this moment: gather some opinions and explain that these are often controversial questions which will be explored in more detail through the activity. Step 3: Ask whether anyone has ever been prevented from saying something they wanted to – at home, school, or in public. How did it make you feel? Why was it important to you to be able to express your point of view? Step 4: Provide some brief information about freedom of expression. Freedom of expression The right to be free to express our thoughts or opinions is an important human right, and is part of international human rights law. The right is valued both because our thoughts, opinions and ability to communicate are a central part of what it means to be human, and because communication and discussion are essential in building an effective democratic society. Understanding and living side by side with others depends on open and free communication – even if we sometimes have to hear opinions we don’t agree with. Nevertheless, freedom of expression is not an ‘absolute’ right which always applies, without limits. It is a right which has to be balanced against the rights of others, or against the good of society as a whole. When expression is either extremely damaging to certain individuals or is likely to be damaging for society, it can be limited. Step 5: Tell participants that they will work in small groups (4 - 5 people) and will discuss a number of cases in which people post things online which are harmful to others and their human rights. The groups need to decide whether this is a case where any of the material should be taken offline – in other words, whether freedom of expression should be restricted. – If they decide it should: what should be taken offline, and why? – If not, why not? What else can be done and by whom?
Step 6: Divide participants into groups of 4 or 5 people and give each group a copy of the cases bellow. Give them about 20 minutes to discuss each of the cases. They should try to provide reasons for the decisions
· · · · ·
Step 7: Go through each of the case studies asking for groups’ responses. Discuss briefly the reasons behind the decisions they took. Use some of the following questions to draw out other key points: Were there any cases where you could not reach agreement in the group? What were the key differences in opinion? Did it make a difference who was responsible for the posts? Did it make a difference how many people responded, or how they responded? Did you arrive at any general principles to decide when freedom of expression can (or should) be restricted? What are the dangers in being over-restrictive? What are the dangers in being overpermissive? Do you think that closing down websites or removing harmful posts is an effective way of combatting hate speech online? In your country, are there restrictions on what people are allowed to say – online or offline? Do the rules differ for online expression?
CASES FOR DISCUSSION: 1. A group called ‘Reclaim our nation’ sets up a website proclaiming ‘traditional values’. Many of the posts are racist. The site attracts a large number of comments and a heated discussion. Some of the discussion contains very abusive language, but there is a large community of commenters who object to the racist ideology of the site. • Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, what else could be done? 2. Nikolay, a politician uses his personal website to call for the eviction of a Roma community in his constituency, and blaming them for high crime levels. Following his calls, there are a number of attacks on Roma around the country. Much of the media begins printing stories which feature crimes committed by Roma – but not the crimes committed against them. • Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, why not? What else could be done? 3. On a personal blog, Rory posts a cartoon showing a well-known politician with blood dripping from his fingers, and dead bodies all around. Many people comment, mostly supporting the cartoon. • Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, why not? What else could be done? 4. Ella posts a video on her public profile which makes fun of disabled people, portraying them as incompetent ‘alien’ beings. Site statistics show that almost no-one has viewed the video, and there are no comments from visitors. • Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, why not? What else could be done? 5. A journalist sees the video (in example 4) and starts a campaign to have Ella’s profile removed from the social media site As a result the video gets thousands of hits. People start commenting that this is “the best video ever”, “we should start being realistic about disabled people”, and so on.
• Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, why not? What else could be done? 6. Ditta, a well-known celebrity, posts an article on an online news site claiming that transgender women are “an abuse against humanity”. A website is set up to ‘bring down Ditta’ with details about her personal life. She starts receiving hundreds of personally abusive emails and tweets. Some include threats. • Should anything be taken offline? If so, how much and why? • If not, why not? What else could be done?
What did you see? 
Duration: 50 min Group size: 10 - 15 Age: 13+ Objective: To Know the difference between information and interpretation. To Be aware of their tendency to focus on information and/or to make interpretations. To Learn that interpretations are personal and don’t always reflect the facts. Description of the activity: Step1: Form a circle. Step 2: When the group is in place, do some actions without speaking: looking at your phone or watch, looking to the door, making short eye contact with some of the participants, looking serious, groaning, moving a few steps from left to right, tapping your toes, looking at your phone or watch again, going outside, closing the door, and after a few seconds, walking back in, and so on. Step 3: After this, go back to the circle, stand in a relaxed position, and start the review. Distribute a sheet of paper and a pen to each participant. Ask participants: What did you see? Ask them to write the answers in two columns: - Facts and information: literally what they saw (example: looking at the phone, making movements, making eye contact, etc.) - Interpretations: nervous, waiting for someone, looking angry, looking mad, etc. Invite participants to share their impressions with the group. Ask them what the difference is between what is written in both columns: - Facts/ What I see? / Information - Thoughts/ Interpretation/ What I make of the information Continue the review by asking the following questions: - What type of answer did you have the most of? - In what columns are most of your descriptions? - What answers are certainly right answers? - What answers may be right, but not definitely? - In everyday situations, when looking at people, events and so on, and describing them, how do you tend to describe them (facts or interpretations)? - Do you have personal experience where your interpretations of someone’s behaviour were right? Do you have personal experiences where your interpretations were wrong? - What are the advantages and the disadvantages of focusing on facts? What are the advantages and disadvantages of focusing on interpretations?
- Is it “wrong” to have interpretations? Conclude the review. When interpreting what we see, we cannot really know if we are correct. Some tips to avoid wrong interpretations: - Describe what you see instead of what you think you see. - When you make interpretations: ask questions about your interpretations, check if what you see is right. - Suggest your interpretations in the form of questions or hypothesis, without imposing them as facts.
Propaganda or not?
Duration: 75 min Group size: 6 - 25 Age: 13+
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Objective: Identify a propaganda poster. Identify how a propaganda poster differs from other posters (political, advertising, cinema). Understand and define what propaganda is. Learn to identify the visual and semantic elements of propaganda. Draft a definition of propaganda. Description of the activity:
Step 1: Collect different posters from the internet, some of them propaganda and some not. Step2: Create small groups and provide papers and pens for each group. Task each group to share and discuss what “propaganda” means for them, and write the different ideas on paper. After their initial discussion, share couple of poster per group (it can be the same posters in more groups) and ask them to respond to the questions: How do you feel about the poster? What do the posters have in common (different elements, wordings, characteristics)? Which ones of the posters are propaganda and why? Step 3: Invite the participants back to plenary and discuss their findings. Let each group share about their work, and try to identify similarities/differences among the groups Step4: Ask the participants to go back in the small groups, and to identify what are the elements shared among the propaganda posters, and make their own definition of propaganda on a flipchart based on the elements. Step 5: Ask the groups to share their definitions, and based on them to create a joint definition for the group on what is propaganda. After the group creates the definition of the group, compare it with some definitions you find. d.
What really happened?
Duration: 60 min Group size: 9 - 25 Age: 13+
Objective: To understand and de-construct conspiracy theories To inform and question views towards past events Description of the activity: Step 1: Split the participants in small groups (aprox. 4 people per group), and give each group an event which has been a subject of conspiracy theories. - September 11 2001 - Norway attacks 22 July 2011 - Charlie Hebdo, Montrouge and hyper Kosher attacks – 7-9 January 2015 - Brussels bombings (Maalbeek station and Zaventem airport) 22 March 2016
Each group should analyse the event and answer the questions: What are the facts? What we know for sure that happened? Who are the protagonists? What do we know about them? Where and when did the event took place? What happened before/after? What were the different narratives around the events? Who was sharing which narrative? What were the different interests in presenting the different narratives and interpretations? Step 2: Invite the participants back to plenary and ask each of the group to present their results. Step 3: After the presentations debrief following the questions: What is a fact? What is the different between a ‘fact’ and its ‘explanation’, its ‘interpretations’? What does the word ‘conspiracy’ mean to you? How do you look for information? What is the difference between reliable and unreliable information? Where did you find the information that you presented? How do you recognise reliable information? You can close the session with showing a video on conspiracy theories (Conspiracies (Web Exclusive): Last Week Tonight with https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Q_OIXfkXEj0 )
 “T-Kit 4: Intercultural Learning” The EU-CoE youth partnership  “Compass Manual for human rights education with young people” Education and Youth sectors of the
Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation of the Council of Europe  “Compass Manual for human rights education with young people” Education and Youth sectors of the Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation of the Council of Europe  “Bookmarks” A manual for combating hate speech online through human rights education, Youth sectors of the Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation of the Council of Europe
 www.bounce-resilience-tools.eu, created by SPF Intérieur in cooperation with ASBL Arktos.
About the project: â€œYouth Alternarration: Combating Radicalization of Young People in Online Spacesâ€? provides young people and youth workers with a unique opportunity to be change-makers. The digital resources and materials platform stands to be the only one of its type across Europe that has combating hate speech and violent radicalization training and development agendas and youth engagement interwoven within the fabric of the initiative. Alter-narration will be a premium example of action learning involving a multitude of new skills for participants. The premise of Alter-narration is to empower young people within different geographical regions to conduct capacity building via digital means that relate to their existence in the EU youth policy. The aim of the project is to inform and inspire positive action.
About the partners: Peshkar is UK based charity established in 2000 with a commitment to excellence in participatory arts with practice framed around our brand values of ‘participation,’ ‘inspiration,’ ‘innovation’ and ‘progression.’ We expect participants to be inspired by our innovative policy and practice to the extent that one will progress to a higher level of arts engagement either as a persistent audience member, cultural content producer or emerging artist or arts professional. Our main aims are to advance education for the public benefit through the promotion of arts with particular but not exclusive reference to cross art forms working with young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Centre for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) is a civil society organization working to promote intercultural acceptance and active citizenship through capacity building processes, education and youth work. The organization’s activity focuses on many aspects which are of interest for young people: from provision of services and information, to research and support for policy-making and networking. CID is working to create diverse responsible and cooperative communities where citizens are actively contributing to the social development and integration. Our mission is to ensure sustainable community development by creating opportunities for quality engagement of civil society, advancing learning opportunities, and active involvement of young people and other citizens. is running the youth support system in the Kumanovo municipality known among youth as the “MultiКулти” youth center. The main aim of this youth center is to establish ground for sustainable multi-ethnic cooperation by fostering intercultural learning and communication among children and young people. In addition, this is made possible by promoting democratic citizenship and fostering active participation of youth within the main decision-making processes of the community. Since the establishment of the first “MultiКулти” Youth Center in 2010, a neutral platform was created where youth from different ethnic backgrounds follow joint activities. The youth work offered by CID annually gathers over 2000 beneficiaries. Out of the Box International is European Network which brings together different actors working on social innovation and advocating for a more solidar Europe, with mission to develop and shape innovative policies in social entrepreneurship, social cohesion, open digital environment, and further enhancement of the European project. Our Member Organisations are Expert Non-Governmental Organisations, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Municipalities and Universities ensuring a variety of expertise and experience in building different kind of innovative social projects. We are experts in different EU policy areas such as cohesive policies, social entrepreneurship, open digital environment or enlargement. Our target groups are young people, citizens, business, CSOs and authorities. We believe that innovation, fresh ideas and active involvement of citizens in the political processes all together represent the sine qua non of making our societies better, fairer,more sustainable and just. The Headquarters of the organization are based in Brussels.
About the authors: Maja Muhic is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Languages, Cultures and Communication at the South East European University, Republic of North Macedonia. Her area of focus covers a variety of topics in the field of cultural anthropology, ethnic and gender studies, post-colonial theory, and theories of multiculturalism. Some of her published works have focused on the applicability of multicultural theories on various local experiences, the European discourses on cultural diversity, and recently on the issue of refugees and the EU discourses revolving around this phenomenon. She has a great interest in symbolic (interpretive) anthropology visa vis-Ă -vis the other anthropological paradigms. She has researched and studied at the University of Cambridge in the UK, The Central European University in Budapest, as well as Santa Barbara and Berkeley University in California. She was awarded scholarships and fellowships from the American State Department, the British Commonwealth Office and the Cambridge Overseas Trust. She has published with eminent publishing houses among which Palgrave Macmillan, and SAGE.
Matej Manevski is a youth worker and youth trainer who has worked on providing youth work services, building competences of youth workers to provide quality youth work, as well as worked on development of youth work systems and policies in the country and on European level. His area of focus covers variety of topics in the field of youth services and youth rights, covering quality youth work, non-formal education, youth participation and activism, as well as intercultural learning and human rights education for young people. Within his work he has collaborated with a variety of national and international organisations dealing with the topics, and is actively collaborating with organisations such as the European Youth Forum, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, as well as providing services for the Council of Europe Youth Department or different national authorities on building youth policies.
Created and compiled by the Centre for Intercultural Dialogue as part of the Erasmus+ funded 'Alternarration' project, 2018-19.
Published on Aug 27, 2019
Created and compiled by the Centre for Intercultural Dialogue as part of the Erasmus+ funded 'Alternarration' project, 2018-19.