Key Facts

Principal Investigators: 

  • Prof. Dr. Margit Stein, Vechta University
  • Prof. Dr. Mehmet Kart, IU International University of Applied Science, Hannover

Research assistant

  • Yannick von Lautz
  • Eike Bösing

Duration: 11/2020 - 10/2024

Practice Partners

Structural Causes of Approaching and Distancing from Islamist Radicalization (Distance / Distanz)

Development of preventive educational counseling approaches

The project Distance deals with the question of which individual and structural factors influence deradicalisation and distancing processes. Through interviews, the experiences of practitioners from counseling centers in the field of prevention will be collected. Of particular interest is their knowledge about the emergence of radicalization (approach) among young people, but especially about successful distancing from Islamist extremism. In addition, the project analyzes the biographies of deradicalized youths and young adults.

In a second step, Distance explores which educational prevention measures or projects are particularly successful in counteracting radicalization and promoting disengagement. The research focuses on structural approaches that can be applied in families, schools, workplaces, and (religious) institutions. The project Distanz will monitor and evaluate two preventive measures to this end. It also examines and systematizes existing approaches and services for deradicalization. In addition, quantitative surveys are being conducted to identify the needs and challenges of teachers and social workers in the school setting.

Together with practical partners, Distance is developing new models, further training and pedagogical prevention approaches based on the research results. In addition to prevention measures for counselling centres and social workers, teaching concepts for interested teachers will be developed. The workshops and concepts developed are to be practical. The results will also be used in a handout for prevention work.

Film "Project Distance/Distanz" | Duration 2"01' | Production Ute Seitz // Philipp Offermann | PRIF 2021

The project Distance is concerned with processes of (de)radicalization of Islamist structures. It examines causes, turning points, and patterns in disengagement dynamics. "For the most part, these processes are still considered a black box. We want to break that up," says principal investigator Prof. Dr. Mehmet Kart. In an interview with RADIS, he gives an anecdotal account of initial findings and points to opportunities for prevention practice that could result from his research. Read more.