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Rokkansenteret ISF

Senter for forskning på sivilsamfunn & frivillighet


The role of religious communities in preventing radicalization and violent extremism

Issues of radicalization, extremism and terror threats are highly present in the Norwegian public debate. International research has shown that religious communities can play a role both in the prevention and promotion of radicalization. In this project we examine the role of civil society when it comes to counter-radicalization, focusing in particular on religious communities and how they interact with the government and civil society.          

The goal of this project is to generate knowledge on the role of the local civil society, and more specifically on that of religious communities in preventing radicalization and violent extremism. We ask:

  • How can mosques and adjacent associations contribute to the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism?
  • In what way is this role contingent upon interaction with the local community to which they belong?
  • How do religious communities function as points of contact for the government in their work on counter-radicalization?

These questions will be examined through case studies of religious communities and local civil societies in three Norwegian municipalities that all have challenges when it comes to radicalization.