Contemporary radicalisation trends and their implications for Europe

Specific challenge

Radicalisation is on the rise, not just in Europe. It is manifest not only in the increased success of radical political parties and movements at both ends of the political spectrum. Whilst many if not most expressions and manifestation of radicalism are peaceful and often driven by idealistic conceptions of a better world or life, this topic is inspired by recent developments which have seen small minorities resorting to violence seemingly motivated by extremist ideologies and in some cases religion. Thus, the focus lies on forms of radicalisation that lead to violence, intolerance, racism and hate crimes. Stark examples include the involvement of radicalised young people born and raised in the EU in atrocities committed in the name of the so-called Islamic State as well as highly visible terrorist attacks of political nature. In parallel to these trends, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and islamophobic radicalism and violence are also increasing. The reasons for these trends seem multifarious and complex in Europe: growing inequalities in European societies and their expressions such as unemployment and the absence of concrete life perspectives for younger populations, the increasing and permanent exposure to social media and life in a virtual world as well as disappointments with existing democratic regimes. Outside Europe, inequalities, poverty, vulnerability, conflicts and political ideologies lead to rising trends in various kinds of radicalisation. The challenge for research is to better and more fundamentally understand the scope of these phenomena, as well as their origins, causes, psychological and emotional dynamics as well as socialisation processes at play in radicalisation. Solutions and practices conducive to preventing this radicalisation should be identified.


The research to address this challenge should focus on one or two dimensions that have to be comprehensively addressed. They may include additional aspects which are relevant to addressing the specific challenge.

1) Radicalisation, violence and hate crime

2) Radicalisation and religious fundamentalism

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

Research under this topic will considerably enhance the knowledge base on the scope, origins, causes and cognitive as well as emotional dynamics of radicalisation. Projects will also devise new methods for studying radicalisation beyond traditional perspectives in particular in relation to young people. Research will provide the basis for future evaluation of policies, envisaging innovative solutions, in particular with regard to their effects on radicalisation and (dis)integration. Research will also furnish recommendations on how to address religious fundamentalism in and outside of Europe. Projects will also produce profiles of recruiters and targeted individuals and groups such as young women. Recommendations on effective strategies, practices and new options of de-radicalisation and for the prevention of radicalisation will be made not least in relation to education policies.

Date de candidature
Sciences sociales