A lively discussion held in Barcelona on the 10 February 2020 on gaps in researching on violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa, the Balkans and Europe, marked the launch of the EU-funded research project CONNEKT.
The discussion focused on three dimensions related to the project:
Testing the drivers: Why include socio-political grievances? Is religion an over-emphasised driver? Why include leisure opportunities as a driver? Is territorial inequality something to be detached from poverty or economic inequality? Does the relation between religion and national belonging play a specific role? Is the digital context an overwhelming channel for VE in the MENA region and the Balkans? Can we detach social perceptions and expectations from these drivers?
Detection versus Prevention: How to identify measures and strategies at a community, social and society level to really prevent violent extremism? How can we escape the detection-prevention trap?
How CONNEKT might be useful to contribute to European knowledge in dealing with VE? Why the MENA region and the Balkans are relevant to the EU knowledge of VE processes? Is there a specific role for youths and women in PVE?
Representatives from the 14 organisations that make up the consortium that will develop the CONNEKT project for the next three and a half years also met in Barcelona to participate in its public presentation and pave the way for the research work. Corinne Torrekens (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Marco Pinfari (American University in Cairo), Tasnim Chirchi (Jasmine Foundation, Tunisia) and Lulzim Peci (Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development) participated in the public roundtable.
See the webpage of the launch event: https://launching.h2020connekt.eu/