Close this search box.


Analysing and Preventing Extremism Via Participation

PARTICIPATION is a project that identifies the European contemporary needs concerning extremism and radicalization, in a broad spectrum, going beyond the war-insurgency narrative.

Grant Agreement Number: 962547

Funded by: HORIZON 2020        Duration: 01/12/2020 – 30/11/2023




* For operative reasons, Participation defines extremism as a set of attitudes that lead people to embrace discourses and behaviours centred on a hate culture that fosters discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, serious disability or disease and radicalization as a complex process of metanoia and socialisation that lead people to legitimize political violence as normal means of political action.* 

Quite different forms of far-right extremism are having an impact in the European region and its borders. On the one hand far-right violence that emerged in violent football ‘ultra’ groups has in some cases mutated into militias, becoming integrated into private armies and at times state structures.

On the other hand, far-right online cultures have emerged across gamer platforms and image boards, and while these have an ‘ironic’ relationship with nationalism (the culture of ‘Kekistan’) and masculinity (evident in Incel themes), they share the same Nazi symbols and imaginaries (black sun, Nordic legends) that we encounter in the world of milita-inspired violence on Europe’s borders and increasingly within Member States. Meanwhile jihadist violence remains a threat, attacks often characterised by highly personalised violence emerging in street markets or work place.

There appear to be fundamental processes of diversification and transformation at work in contemporary experiences of extremism and radicalisation, that Participation aims to capture and explore, and in the process, propose concrete actions and tools that will empower policy actors and practitioners to respond to a changing reality capture.


Participation aims to prevent extremism, radicalisation and polarisation that can lead to violence through more effective social and education policies and interventions that target at risk groups.

The project wants to represent a real forward leap in the investigation of the paths and processes that from alienation and social exclusion of vulnerable groups lead to radicalization. Consequently, it will develop a specific participatory analysis on the socio-psychological effects of urban ecology on extremism and radicalization as well as polarization and alienation of young people, with a special focus on gender and sexuality dimensions. To achieve this, Participation will engage social actors, local communities, civil societies and policymakers.

Moreover, the project will establish in digital space Social Labs, which act as multipliers of the effectiveness of research & innovation actions by triggering local experiential learning processes and are increasingly important in policy innovation and design.


A multi-dimensional complex model will be developed to better understand different pathways leading to polarisation, extremism and radicalisation as well as to identify different expected trends.

The model will be based on qualitative and quantitative research, workshops with experts and civil society representatives.

A set of policy recommendations will be drafted based on the participatory methodology, in order to optimize strategies and interventions against extremism, hate cultures and radicalisation, at micro, meso and macro-level of the governance.

The main goal of this activity is to design counter-narrative campaigns for preventing radicalization in young people, by identifying current relevant trends and models in counter extremism messaging.

A suite of educational and training tools, resources and policy guides will be produced, aiming to increase the capacity of local authorities, educational institutions, teachers and civic organisations to identify and apply optimal education and training tools (formal, non-formal and on-line) to best reach at-risk groups and improve social inclusion, resilience and prevention of radicalization.

Methodological tools will be designed to support situation analysis in complex environments as well as for early detection of ongoing processes of radicalisation, polarisation and alienation. These tools will support decision-makers and practitioners in positively integrating multiple dimensions (security, economy, societal & social issues, psychology) in policy-making processes and in P/CVE interventions. Tools will be informed by participatory methodologies from Social Labs, already tested against the backdrop of radicalisation, polarisation and alienation dynamics. This will increase the tools adaptability to different contexts, and their scalability at different levels.

This project description reflects only the author’s view and the Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 962547.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Roma Tre University -Project Coordinator (Italy)
CE.S.I – (Italy)
PATRIR – (Romania)
University of Minho – (Portugal)
European Foundation for Democracy (Belgium)
University of Catania (Italy)
Maastricht University (Netherlands)
University College Cork – (Ireland)
Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain)
CESIE logo
CESIE (Italy)
Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (France)
Middlesex University – UK
Polish Platform for Homeland Security -(Poland)

Stichting Human Security Collective – Netherlands


Leave a comment
or ask for help