Policy-Papers
|Violent Extremism

Policy Paper on Countering and Preventing Macro-Level Drivers of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in MENA and Balkans

Enric Olivé
Lourdes Rubio-Rico
Silvia Monserrate
Verónica Anzil
17 October 2022

This paper aims to provide practical and useful policy recommendations for countering radicalisation and VE,
addressing seven hypothetical drivers deemed to be prompting youth into VE, which are: religion, economic
deprivation, territorial inequalities, transnational dynamics, digital socialisation, political issues (ideas and
grievances), and culture, educational and leisure opportunities. Recommendations derive from a previous
cross-regional comparative reading of empirical research findings, semi-structured and in-depth interviews with
over 118 representatives of State and non-state institutions in 8 countries—Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan,
North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Bulgaria—, with the intention of mapping how state
and supra-state agencies approach VE, as well as understanding to what extent institutional dynamics foster
change in VE processes, echoing a New Institutionalist theoretical approach (Immergut, 1998).

Views of stakeholders participating in the macro-level research are particularly relevant as their authority is
more centralised and play the most prominent role in decision-making as policies emanate from them. Thus,
the strength and commitment shown by institutions have a direct impact on the success of any programme
(Ibid, 1998). The macro-level research of CONNEKT involved policy agencies in charge of compliance with
P/CVE regulations; state institutions and government bodies including ministerial departmental stances;
security and intelligence services, in charge of sectoral policies, legislation and regulations; and finally
international organisations.

Both this paper and previous research have been conducted within the frame of the EU-funded H2020
Project CONNEKT (CONtexts of extremism iN mEna and balKan socieTies) that explores the drivers of
radicalisation and violent extremism among young people aged from 12 to 30, mapping and establishing
interrelationships and specific significance of seven potential drivers within three different levels of analysis
in order to create strategies for prevention at the community level.

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