MANCHESTER University is leading a €5 million international Dialogue about Radicalisation and Equality (DARE) project focused on radicalisation among young people.

The DARE project will run for four years and is based in 13 countries including: Croatia, Tunisia, Turkey, Germany, Greece, Norway, Russian Federation, Poland, Malta, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.

The focus of the project is on young people aged between twelve to thirty years old as research has suggested that they are particularly susceptible to radicalisation. Figures have shown that sixty children are referred to the Government’s controversial Prevent counter-terrorism programme every week and that out of seven and a half thousand people who were referred to the programme, almost half were aged under eighteen.

The Coordinator of the project, Hilary Pilkington said: “I’ve worked for many years on extremism around the extreme right, but we’ve had various networks looking at broadening that out, so looking at the ways in which young people are exposed increasingly to everyday encounters with radicalisation messages.

“The idea was to just engage with radicalisation in a way that might be more productive than simply stereotyping particular communities, which is unfortunately what often happens when people start to talk about radicalisation.

“The DARE Project, recently awarded Horizon 2020 funding, aims to develop a social research agenda on radicalisation that is distinct from terrorism studies and which includes both Islamist and anti-Islamist radicalism.

“This approach leads it to focus not on terrorist events or individuals, but on the milieus in which radicalisation messages are found. This enables empirical research, including an engagement with people facing radicalisation choices that is often missing in terrorism studies.

“The main objective of the project is less about intervention strategies than developing a genuine dialogue about radicalisation and (in)equality. Manchester city council already has strong initiatives in this area and we will seek to connect with them, and other agencies, to foster the trust necessary for people to feel comfortable about discussing this highly sensitive issue in an open and constructive way.”

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