CONNEKT studies the contexts of the emergence of radicalisation and violent extremism (VE) in the MENA region and the Balkans in relation to seven pre-identified drivers: Religion, economic deprivation, political grievances, culture and leisure opportunities, digital literacy, territorial inequalities, and transnational dynamics.
The project maps and establishes interrelationships and specific significance of these seven potential drivers within three different levels of analysis (macro-level, meso-level and micro-level). This framework aims at building a cumulative knowledge of the complex phenomenon of radicalisation: Going from macro-level to meso-level to micro-level, findings are each time included at the next stage as a starting point.
This report shares the findings of the meso-level research activities conducted by CONNEKT in 6 countries that included 39 focus groups, 74 in-depth interviews and 2 online observations of public social media groups.
Throughout the case studies covering Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Jordan, Kosovo, Morocco, North Macedonia, and Tunisia, this level of research focuses on the social contexts where the individual relates to her/his family, neighbourhood, school, peer group, religious and ethnic communities, etc.
In this framework, meso-level research tackles two main issues: firstly, how the drivers identified in CONNEKT interact with social entities and local stakeholders and, secondly, how to translate research at the meso-level into preventive actions by taking a distinct approach beyond the security-driven approaches. With this aim, the important role of communities is underlined and methodological practices to create meaningful spaces for dialogue and consultation are explored. Meso-level research relates with the concept of community. In CONNEKT, community is defined as a « social context », « cultural construct » and a « network of individual and collective interrelations ».