Understanding the different faces of radicalisation and extremism and the latest developments is a challenge for academics, professionals and policy makers. It demands a continuously updated data and interpretation.
The complexity of the underlying processes and factors that lead different individuals and groups to adopt radical ideas and commit acts of violence forms a challenge as well.
A H2020 project entitled PERICLES examined the workings of online radicalisation and developed tools for both identifying it and co-ordinating the work of social and policing agencies concerned with responding to it.
Warwick researchers Professor Tom Sorell, Dr Kat Hadjimatheou and Dr John Guelke worked on ethical issues raised by these tools, and research ethics issues in the project connected with interviewing extremists.
To meet its aims, PERICLES considered violent left-wing, right-wing and religious ideologies. A special focus was also been placed on the risks connected with digital violent propaganda.
The PERICLES project has delivered advanced counter-propaganda techniques that are target-group-specific. In addition, cooperation between relevant authorities has been enhanced through the use of the project outputs.
The comprehensive PERICLES prevention strategy largely addresses law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and security agencies, but findings will also be used by prisons and social workers, teachers and even relatives of affected people.