Dealing with radicalization: A comparative study of the current initiatives to counter radicalization among young people in Sweden and Germany and the challenges which need to be met

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Dealing with radicalization: A comparative study of the current initiatives to counter radicalization among young people in Sweden and Germany and the challenges which need to be met

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Dealing with radicalization: A comparative study of the current initiatives to counter radicalization among young people in Sweden and Germany and the challenges which need to be met
Author Tzouvara, Maria
Date 2019
English abstract
Radicalization, especially when it leads to extremism and political violence, has been on the rise in recent years on global scale and policy makers have tried to tackle the phenomenon, which poses a great risk to our societies. Especially young people, who are among the most vulnerable parts of society, are prone to radical beliefs that might come from the use of social media and/or by their exposure to socio-economic inequalities or religious fundamentalism. In order to tackle the phenomenon, one needs to first try and understand its nature and academics, social workers, educators and policymakers alike need to join forces in order to take effective preventive measures against radicalization. This master thesis tries to investigate the nature of the preventive measures taken by Sweden and Germany, two European countries having recently received most immigrants escaping war zones and hit by radicalization, in order to find their similarities/differences and strong points/deficiencies and see if they point to a viable way of addressing radicalization in modern societies, and if improvements need to be made in this direction. Through qualitative content analysis of communication/textual data about radicalization, its root causes and especially the counter radicalization initiatives taken by the two given countries, this study explores the efficiency of these interventions and tries to find the reasons behind the persistence of radicalization and also how the preventive strategies are understood and communicated by the two countries, through the perspective of Media for Development. This study finds that the evaluation of the efficiency of the use of media, that is to say information dissemination and pedagogy, in addressing radicalization and achieving social cohesion in Germany and Sweden is very difficult if possible. The biggest challenges that both Germany and Sweden are faced by are the Islamist extremism and propaganda, the right- and left-wing extremism, the growing polarization and the increasing Islamophobia in the society and the measures taken so far by both countries are based on the same views on the problem at hand. It also shows that there is no ‘best practice which fits all’ when it comes to radicalization and violent extremism, as well as that the policy approaches need to place special focus on citizenship education for all young people in order to achieve social inclusion and cohesion.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject radicalization
violent extremism
online hate
deradicalization
counter-radicalization
Islamophobia
social cohesion
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/27809 Permalink to this page
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