The Elcano Royal Institute has been selected to lead a research project within the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project, ‘MINDb4ACT: Innovative, ethical and effective actions to tackle radicalisation leading to violent extremism’, focuses on new counter-terrorist policies to prevent radicalisation. The acronym MINDb4ACT makes reference to the value of prevention in avoiding responses that might be only partial or even counterproductive.
The project has a duration of three years and will be carried out by a consortium of 18 research centres and institutions from 10 European countries. Among the participants are seven security forces and agencies of five European countries (Spain, Germany, the UK, Poland and Italy), including Spain’s Guardia Civil and the Municipal Police of Madrid.
Its aim is to provide a useful tool for actors involved in policies of prevention. To this object it will employ scientific evidence and the results of its research to develop 21 pilot projects in five priority areas for violent radicalisation: schools, prisons, holding centres for immigrants and asylum seekers, urban areas and the media and Internet. The evaluation of its results should allow the determination of criteria to gauge whether to incorporate them or not to the national strategies of the countries involved.
Furthermore, the project will develop:
- Six scientific missions to European countries to identify best practices and successful actions in preventing radicalisation.
- A scientific study on the radicalisation process in different contexts (recruitment models, risk factors, motivations and facilitators or mediators) and the evaluation of rehabilitation practices (prisons), differentiating group and individual processes.
- An analysis of the impact of the media (emulation), incitement to hatred and on-line propaganda.
- A psychosocial analysis of self-radicalisation (risk factors for individuals).
- A macro-survey to study how the interested parties (political actors, security forces, analysts, frontline players and social agents in practices or policies) frame the radicalisation process, with an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 participants.
- An analysis of how the European intelligence community evaluates the problem and the different approaches and visions of frontline and other players.
- An on-line stakeholder community: an open space of communication for virtual information aimed at the security forces, frontline players, analysts, politician and other actors (1,500 participants sharing information on successful practices and training to tackle violent radicalisation).
- Training courses for professionals, particularly frontline security forces and medical practitioners, based on the project’s main findings (1,500 participants).
MINDb4ACT will carry out an overall re-evaluation of the individual, local, national and supranational perspectives to understand, identify and prevent violent radicalisation. It will furthermore contribute to the creation of an international community of experts and professionals specialising in education, social work, communication and psychology, and of public officials (police, judiciary and intelligence analysts) and other civil society actors involved in prevention. The platform’s aim is to help confront the challenges to security and the everyday vulnerabilities faced by European society.
MINDb4ACT is an initiative coordinated by the Elcano Royal Institute’s Projects Department under the academic leadership of the Institute’s Global Terrorism Programme. The Project will tackle key issues for which empirical data is as yet insufficient, such as the involvement of minors, the role of women in the radicalisation process, prevention in schools and prisons and countering the distribution of material on the Internet.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 740543