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Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.

The urban environment: Mirror and mediator of radicalisation

  • Start date: 30 September 2007
  • End date: 30 June 2010

Radicalisation is not an a-spatial, a-material phenomenon. It takes place in streets, apartments, shops or parks and it is materially reflected in fences, buildings, territorial markers etc. But walls, bridges, buildings etc. also exert a gravitational pull on the decision which playground to prefer, where to hide in the event of trouble and the likeliness of meeting 'others'. In short, social conditions and urban environments shape each other.

It seems plausible that such processes are similar, but not identical, in cities with "earlier" and "new" patterns of radicalisation. A systematic assessment of this assumption would help a wide range of actors – who will be proactively involved in the research process – to create cities that facilitate amicable encounters between different groups, thereby tackling some of the key conditions of stereotypisation and radicalisation.

This project therefore maps existing knowledge in various disciplines about these dynamics and it investigates the ground-level situation in four cities: Belfast and Beirut as examples of "earlier" patterns of contestation, although with different recent developments and different religious connotations. Berlin and Amsterdam represent "new" patterns of radicalisation in the form of Neo-Nazi mobilisation and extremist tendencies among Muslim youths.