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Religion, Radicalisation, Resilience

Understand religious radicalisation and violence and learn strategies to build resilience in communities and schools.

3,121 enrolled on this course

Religion, Radicalisation, Resilience

Understand violent radicalisation and religiously attributed violence

Through this course you will explore issues related to religiously attributed violent radicalisation, learning how to build resilience within communities and schools.

You will examine terrorist events, their consequences and the stories of the perpetrators. You will hear from key experts seeking to explain how people were driven to become radicalised and engage in terrorist violence. You will consider the definition of radicalisation and what forms it takes. You will then get basic training in how to develop a community resilience programme against radicalisation and terrorism.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Terrorism is high on the international agenda. And terms, as foreign fighters, radicalization and religious extremism often hit the headlines and fuel the political debate at the global level. It is definitely not a new phenomenon. What has changed though is that in the past, terrorism was merely related to national issues and claims. Limited by national boundaries, think of the Farc in Colombia, of the IRA in the United Kingdom, or of Hamas in Palestine. However with new tools, resources, and channels, it has become a global phenomenon. Religiously inspired or attributed violent radicalization immediately make us think of terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda, and ISIS, and of terrorist attacks on the Western world.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds But data shows that Muslims have been victims of violent extremism themselves, both at the hands of Muslim and non-Muslim violent groups. It is clear that the deepening of global social inequalities, as well as fear, suspicion, and minority marginalisation only contribute to the sharpening of the ideological divides among people actually inciting violence. So what are the factors in underlying dynamics that draw individuals into extremism, especially in the case of youths? What are the best practises in place to curb this phenomenon? And how can governments and people build resilience to combat terrorism and violent radicalisation? Join our group of international experts for topical information, thought-provoking discussions, and the opportunity to make your own opinion on this pressing global issue. Sign up now.


  • Week 1

    What is violent radicalisation?

    • Introducing the course: Religion, Radicalisation, Resilience

      Welcome and brief overview of what the course is about, how it is structured, and who the educators are.

    • Examples from outside Europe

      This activity provides some concrete examples from Southeast Asia and the MENA region.

    • Violent radicalisation in Europe

      This activity explores the relationship between religion and radicalisation with a focus on Europe, and tests knowledge acquired so far.

    • Why do people radicalise?

      Providing expert opinions and fostering discussions on why people radicalise, why others not, and what draws individuals to become foreign fighters.

  • Week 2

    Drivers and dynamics of violent radicalisation

    • Drivers of violent radicalisation: an overview of different approaches

      This activity provides an overview of the geopolitical, socio-economic, historical and psychological-cognitive approaches to the study of violent radicalisation.

    • When violence meets radicalisation

      Differences between violent and non violent radicalism and groups at risk.

    • Violent radicalisation in historical perspective

      Looking at how violent radicalisation in the present differs from violent radicalisation in the past.

    • Bringing the cases together to assess lessons learnt

      Bringing together different approaches to explain violent radicalisation, and reflecting on the linkage between religion and radicalisation.

  • Week 3

    Addressing violent radicalisation through resilience

    • The conceptual framework of resilience to radicalisation

      Explaining what resilience to violent radicalisation is about.

    • The role of the media

      Reflecting on online radicalisation and on the role of the media in creating media panics about terrorism

    • Counter-radicalisation theories

      Through the resilience model, this activity offers an analysis of the existing theories to counter violent radicalisation.

    • Policy responses and prevention tools

      Moving from theory to practice in looking at what kind of policies have been adopted to counter violent radicalisation.

    • Wrapping up the course

      Summarizing and reflecting upon the concepts, theories and cases analysed in the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate current debates on violent religious radicalisation
  • Engage with different theoretical approaches that explain violent radicalisation and identify its causes
  • Explore the process through which a young person can be drawn into a spiral of violent radicalisation and extremism
  • Discuss what is resilience and how it is different from counter-radicalisation approaches
  • Compare specific approaches and experiences of building resilience within communities and countering violent radicalisation. Discuss whether and how they can be transposed to different settings (cities, countries)
  • Learn about how violent religiously attributed radicalisation emerges today in different parts of the world, understand why people are driven to engage in violent extremism and what resilience to it is

Who is the course for?

This course is for social workers, civil society actors and practitioners, educators, journalists and interested citizens.

This course is part of the research project GREASE: Radicalisation Secularism and the Governance of Religious Diversity: Bringing together European and Asian Perspectives funded by the European Commission, Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 770640. The content of this MOOC represents only the views of the GREASE consortium and is its sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Who will you learn with?

Anna Triandafyllidou is Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

Tina is a Research Associate at the Global Governance Programme, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute working primarily on religious diversity governance.

Who developed the course?

European University Institute (EUI)

The European University Institute offers doctoral and post-doctoral training in the social sciences. It hosts the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and the Historical Archives of the EU.

GREASE Project Consortium

GREASE: Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion: Bringing together European and Asian Perspectives, is an international research project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme.

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