Key Facts

Pricipal Investigators: 

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG), Bielefeld University
  • Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach, FH Muenster, Department of Social Work

Research assistant

  • Gerrit Weitzel
  • Rees Yann
  • Armin K├╝chler
  • Linda Schumilas

Duration: 10/2020 - 09/2024

Radicalisation and Spaces (RadiRa)

The role of urban districts for Salafist radicalisation and the development of a spatial preventive approach for social workers

The role of space, in the sense of a living environment, has hardly been systematically investigated in radicalisation research. Although various studies identify spaces as places of radicalisation, they do not attribute any independent effect to them. Rather, risk factors and processes of radicalisation trajectories are usually modeled.

The project "Radicalisation and Spaces" (RadiRa) aims to close this gap. RadiRa explores space as an influencing factor on Salafist radicalisation processes. The aim is to develop an understanding of the spatial context conditions under which Salafist radicalisation processes take place. Additionally, it is intended to strengthen the possibilities of socio-educational intervention in the context of prevention.

In practical terms, three German neighbourhoods will be studied in an interdisciplinary manner for one year each: In addition to an ethnographic survey of the respective neighbourhoods and their Salafist hotspots, standardized surveys and guided interviews with experts and residents will be conducted.

Workshops with practitioners will be organized at the beginning and end of the project and at each field phase. In a continuous exchange with social work actors, RadiRa will develop prevention measures that address different stages of the radicalisation process. Results such as project publications, documentation of field research, and educational research projects are made available on an open access project platform.

Film "The RadiRa Project" | Duration 2"17' | Realisation Ute Seitz // Philipp Offermann | HSFK 2022


Do spaces have an effect on people's susceptibility to radicalisation? The RadiRa project is interested in this question and is conducting research in the field of Islamist extremism. In a RADIS interview, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach and Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick report on why niche spaces in particular are attractive to extremists and how their research could contribute to the professionalisation within the field of prevention work. Read more.