Chair: Dominic Kudlacek & Nadine Jukschat

Radicalisation within the digital age - vulnerability and prevention

Building: G
Room: 22


Author: Kudlacek Dominic, Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony

Title: Radicalisation and Mental Illness - Results From a Workup of Biographic Information
This paper presents results from a workup of biographic information from terrorist offenders who have committed an attack between 2001 and 2016 in Germany. The study is based on public accessible data from 15 attackers. Results show in accordance to previous research in this field a tendency to low-level terrorism and indeed, the attackers age at the moment of the attack has decreased over the past decades. However, in contradiction to previous studies it was found, that the offenders very often showed mental health issues in advance of their attacks, such as social phobia and anxiety or bipolar affective disorder, depression and or paranoid and narcissistic personality disorder. Aside from that it was found, that the internet and social media have not been relevant in terms of the cause of radicalisation. The findings contradict many preventive measures that have been set up over the past years all over Europe, that are often focusing the special challenges related to the internet or new media.
Keywords: radicalisation, mental illness, internet, social media, prevention
Author: Schröder Carl Philipp, Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony

Laura-Romina Goede, Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony
Title: Radicalisation Within the Digital Age - Results From a School Survey Regarding Extremist Attitudes
The research of radicalisation processes is a highly relevant topic. Until now, many aspects of radicalisation processes have been insufficiently empirically explored. For example, the factors that discourage or promote processes of radicalisation. The Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony attempts to close this research gap with the exploration of vulnerability factors based on the data of a quantitative school survey. In spring 2018, we examined pupils in the 9th grade (14-15 years old) in all types of schools in different cities in Germany. In our survey, we focused on topics – based on radicalisation literature – such as identity, discrimination, delinquency, migration, family and peers. To measure radicalisation on an attitudinal and procedural level, we referred to established scales and enhanced them. Based on the data of our school survey, we can explore vulnerability factors that lead to Islamist or extreme right wing attitudes. In our presentation, we will show the results relating to the research of different factors that promote or discourage radicalisation processes.
Keywords: radicalisation, vulnerability factors, pupils
Author: Möller Veronika, Georg-August Universität Göttingen

Miriam Meyer, Georg-August Universität Göttingen & Katrin Höffler, Georg-August Universität Göttingen
Title: Biographical Data Analysis - a Study of Life Histories of Radicalised Persons
During the last years scholars have offered various explanations for possible radicalisation processes of extremist persons. However, only very few empirical studies on these processes have been realised so far. The aim of this presentation is to fill that gap and introduce the preliminary results of a biographical analysis of radicalised individuals based on an evaluation of criminal judgements. Building on the theoretical findings on indicators that favour radicalisation as well as on protective factors we have analysed trajectories of right-wing extremists and Islamists. The analysis focuses on social, socio-economical and behavioural aspects. We have also considered similarities and differences within the two groups to draw initial conclusions about suitable indicators for radicalisation. This study marks a first step to identify vulnerable groups with risk of radicalisation.
Keywords: vulnerable groups, radicalisation, risk indicators
Author: Leimbach Katharina, Leibniz Universität Hannover

Title: Perspectives of Preventing Right Wing and Islamist Extremism
The research project “Inventory and Analysis of Prevention Projects” is a subproject of the big german research alliance “Radicalisation within the digital age” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The main goal of the project is an examination of methods to prevent radicalisation and violence based upon prejudices by conducting a comparative analysis between Islamism and right wing extremism. The main methods used are qualitative expert interviews with policy makers, employees from security agencies and those in direct contact with radicalised and extremist persons as well as biographical narrative interviews with participants of prevention projects like former extremists. This study explores the complex figurations and processes from micro to meso level with an interdisciplinary approach between criminal justice and sociology. The qualitative interviews demonstrate the importance of labeling somebody as an “extremist person“ and highlight the main dimensions of disengagement processes. Furthermore, our study details the complex context of the internet and social media for disengagement and the prevention activities. The presentation of the results up to now will outline different perspectives on how to prevent right wing and islamist extremism in Germany. The findings will serve as the basis for recommendations on the development and refinement of preventive programs against radicalisation.
Keywords: right-wing extremism, de-radicalisation processes, policy recommendation
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