Priorities of the call: reading of the call for proposal and meeting with Frédéric Laurent, French representative from the National Contact Point H2020 (fr. Le Point de Contact National d’Horizon 2020).
What is radicalization?
Radicalization is a social behaviour based on extremist ideology which leads a person into a process of closing to citizen dialogue and acting outside the law in a violent or terrorist form.
Ideologies can be highly variable, for instance nationalist, anarchic, separatist, extreme left or extreme right or Islamist (Al Qaeda Daesh). Europol’s 2013 Report
The call for proposals SEC-06-FCT was initiated by France in a desire to coordinate European policies on prevention of radicalization. The call identifies two distinct polarities: “early understanding” - understanding and anticipation of radicalization and “improving protection” - improved protection and a measure allowing the deradicalization of young people. The term “deradicalize” does not seem to have the same assertion in experts’ comments. For some, it is a process that aims to prevent the spread of radicalization in populations “which help prevent the radicalization of vulnerable populations” and in other cases it seems to describe the disengagement process of terrorists or radicalized persons “which aim to reform terrorists in custody”. In any case, it seems clear that the concept of a “comprehensive approach to the process of radicalization” includes the necessity to synthesize the scientific consensus or dissent in the field, to clarify the relevance of indicators of swaying, to identify typologies of logic of radicalization and to build scientific approaches which would enable to clarify the etiology of moving into radical action.
Our object must take into account the upstream side of the phenomenon which goes from monitoring to the detection and then to characterization of risk and reporting of radicalized young people and then to the intervention. The downstream side of the process that involves the intervention and the implementation of educational, judicial and penal procedures is less related to our project (except in cases that are necessary to understand the radicalization process).
Consortium components: meeting with the French representative of the National Contact Point H2020: Frédéric Laurent and propositions
To ensure a good control of the whole process and the respect the objectives of the call, it seems essential to connect four types of partners:
Professional stakeholders of public action of preventing radicalization, practitioners which we believe are the national, regional or municipal police forces (especially in a European context), state, region or province structures responsible for preventing radicalization (CIPD and through it - prefecture unit, de-radicalization association, justice, national education). It seems to me that we must stay on this line for our search for partners (police, gendarmerie or security forces, coordination centres for national prevention policies).
Experts and researchers in this field who are able to build relevant and comprehensive search process (holistic treatment) on the field by building a multidisciplinary approach. The network PARYIS (names of researchers in the column) under my leadership has the ability to build this approach. Yet this team of researchers should lean on police and security agents able to support us in the evaluation of public policies and in improving professional practices (benchmarking).
End users are defined in the text of the call as the recipients of recommendations and best practice. They are also called authors of innovative and ethical solutions to counter violent actions. These actions can take into account all areas able to develop the counter-discourse (educational, social, youth measures) “further to the recommendations of the Radicalisation Awareness Network, and to the work undertaken in the ongoing FP7 and other projects in the area, a better understanding of the causes and processes may lead to innovative, ethical solutions to counter violent action taken by radicalized male or female individuals (policies for preventing violent extremism; counter communication disseminated either online or offline)”. In this context, we propose to establish a network of European cities which have similar problems at the city level and have developed political actions to improve safety and prevention of radicalization.
Companies producing technology and IT tools which enable collection of information on digital radicalization that promotes improvement of work of practitioners and provide to the cities and users preventive or control tools will be needed. We especially think about a use of algorithms and artificial intelligence tools which enable the identification of radical media, of networks of people that are "taking the bait".