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'Youth Radicalisation and the Role of Youth Work in Times of (In)security' (Chapter 28). In Thinking Seriously About Youth Work - And how to prepare people to do it.

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THINKING
SERIOUSLY ABOUT
YOUTH WORK
And how to prepare
people to do it
Youth Knowledge #20
THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT YOUTH WORK
9 789287 184160
http://book.coe.int
ISBN 978-92-871-8416-0
€58/US$116
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human
rights organisation. It comprises 47 member states,
28 of which are members of the European Union. All
Council of Europe member states have signed up to the
European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed
toprotect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The European Court of Human Rights oversees the
implementation of the Convention in the member states.
www.coe.int
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership
between 28 democratic European countries. Its aims are peace,
prosperity and freedom for its 500 million citizens – in a fairer, safer
world. To make things happen, EU countries set up bodies to run
the EU and adopt its legislation. The main ones are the European
Parliament (representing the people of Europe), the Council of
the European Union (representing national governments) and the
European Commission (representing the common EU interest).
http://europa.eu
If we consider the 50 states having ratied the European Cultural
Convention of the Council of Europe or the member states of the
European Union, the multiple and divergent nature of the realities,
theories, concepts and strategies underlying the expression “youth
work” becomes evident. Across Europe, youth work takes place in
circumstances presenting enormous dierences with regard to
opportunities, support, structures, recognition and realities, and
how it performs reects the social, cultural, political and economic
context, and the value systems in which it is undertaken.
By analysing theories and concepts of youth work and by
providing insight from various perspectives and geographical and
professional backgrounds, the authors hope to further contribute
to nding common ground for – and thus assure the quality of –
youth work in general. Presenting its puried and essential concept
is not the objective here. The focus rather is on describing how to
“provide opportunities for all young people to shape their own
futures”, as Peter Lauritzen described the fundamental mission of
youth work.
The best way to do this remains an open question. This Youth
Knowledge book tries to nd some answers and strives to
communicate the strengths, capacities and impact of youth work to
those within the youth sector and those beyond, to those familiar
with its concepts and those new to this eld, all the while sharing
practices and insights and encouraging further reection.
http://youth-partnership-eu.coe.int
youth-partnership@partnership-eu.coe.int
Editors
Hanjo Schild
Nuala Connolly
Francine Labadie
Jan Vanhee
Howard Williamson
THINKING
SERIOUSLY ABOUT
YOUTH WORK
And how to prepare
people to do it
Council of Europe and European Commission
Youth Knowledge # 20
The opinions expressed in this work ,
commissioned by the European Union–
Council of Europe youth partnership
are the responsibility of the authors
and do not necessarily reect the ocial
policy of either of the partner institutions,
their member states or the organisations
co-operating with them.
All rights reserved. No part of this
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(CD-Rom, internet, etc.) or mechanical,
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in writing from the Directorate of
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Cedex or publishing@coe.int).
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Publications Production Department
(SPDP), Council of Europe
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Layout: Valblor, Illkirch
Council of Europe Publishing
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http://book.coe.int
ISBN 978-92-871-8416-0
© Council of Europe and European
Commission, October 2017
Printed at the Council of Europe
Page 3
Contents
INTRODUCTION 7
Youth work – An incomprehensible subject? Introductory reflections
on youth work 7
Hanjo Schild, Jan Vanhee and Howard Williamson
SECTION I  THEORIES AND CONCEPTS IN SELECTED EUROPEAN REGIONS
AND COUNTRIES 13
1. Winning space, building bridges – What youth work is all about 15
Howard Williamson
2. Youth work in Flanders – Playful usefulness and useful playfulness 27
Guy Redig and Filip Coussée
3. Youth policy in eastern Europe and the Caucasus 39
Evgeniia Petrivska
4. Saying, doing, relating – Reflecting on youth work praxis in Finland 53
Tomi Kiilakoski
5. Youth work in France 63
Laurent Besse, Jérôme Camus and Marc Carletti
6. Youth work and youth social work in Germany 71
Andreas Thimmel
7. Thinking about youth work in Ireland 81
Maurice Devlin
8. Youth work in Italy – Between pluralism and fragmentation in a context 91
of state non-interference
Daniele Morciano
9. Above the horizon – Shifting landscapes in youth work in Malta 105
Miriam Teuma
10. Supporting development and integration of young people –
Trends in current youth work practice in Poland 113
Ewa Krzaklewska
11. Youth work: a Portuguese point of view 121
Carlos Pereira
12. Theories and concepts of youth work in South-East Europe 131
Gazela Pudar Draško
13. Youth work in Spain – Approaches and main issues 139
Rafael Merino Pareja
14. Influential theories and concepts in UK youth work –
What’s going on in England? 149
Pauline Grace and Tony Taylor
Page 4 Thinking seriously about youth work
SECTION II  KEY CHALLENGES OF YOUTH WORK TODAY 159
15. Key challenges of youth work today – An introduction 161
Nuala Connolly
16. Finding common ground – Mapping and scanning the horizons
for youth work in Europe 169
Howard Williamson
17. Youth work and an internationally agreed definition of youth work –
More than a tough job 215
Guy Redig
18. What are the meanings and the underlying concepts and theories
of youth work? 227
Lasse Siurala
19. What are the aims and anticipated outcomes of “youth work” at national,
European and other transnational levels? 235
Valentina Cuzzocrea
20. A critical approach to youth work categorisations 241
Marko Kovacic
21. Where are the connections between youth work and wider work
with young people? 249
Hanjo Schild and Howard Williamson
22. Keep calm and repeat – Youth work is not (unfortunately)
just fun and games 259
Özgehan Şenyuva and Tomi Kiilakoski
23. Education and training for the development of professional youth work
practice and quality standards 271
Sladjana Petkovic and Manfred Zentner
24. The value of youth work and public authorities 285
Areg Tadevosyan and Howard Williamson
25. Young people, youth work and the digital world 291
Nuala Connolly
26. What role can youth work play in relation to the children of migrant
workers of the first, second and third generations? 299
Albert Scherr and Gökçen Yüksel
27. Illegalised young bodies – Some reflections for youth work practice 305
Maria Pisani
28. Youth radicalisation and the role of youth work in times of (in)security 315
Dora Giannaki
SECTION III  REFLECTIONS ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE IN
THE DECLARATION OF THE 2ND EUROPEAN YOUTH WORK CONVENTION 327
29. Further exploring the common ground – Some introductory remarks 329
Hanjo Schild
30. Youth work in Europe – Europe in youth work (a blog) 333
Peter Wootsch
31. Assuring the quality of youth work 341
Jonas Agdur
32. The present and the future of youth worker training in Europe 347
Gisèle Evrard Markovic and Darko Markovic
33. A three-dimensional youth work evaluation model 355
Marti Taru
Contents Page 5
34. Towards knowledge-based youth work 363
Helmut Fennes
35. Funding sustainable youth work 371
Claudius Siebel
36. Youth work, cross-sectoral youth policy, and co-operation:
critical reflections on a puzzling relationship 379
Magda Nico
37. “Participation and civic dialogue” through the prism
of public policy in France 389
Jean-Claude Richez
CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK 399
Hanjo Schild, Nuala Connolly, Francine Labadie, Jan Vanhee
and Howard Williamson (editorial team)
APPENDICES 405
Appendix 1 – Declaration of the 1st European Youth Work Convention 407
Appendix 2 – Declaration of the 2nd European Youth Work Convention 415
Appendix 3 – Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4 of the Committee
of Ministers to member States on youth work 427
ABOUT THE EDITORIAL TEAM AND THE AUTHORS 435
Page 315
Chapter 28
Youth radicalisation and
the role of youth work
in times of (in)security
Dora Giannaki
“Only a balance between measures to combat violent extremism and measures to build
inclusive societies can keep Europeans safe”.
Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, Council of Europe.
Introduction
T
here is no doubt that since 2008 and the outbreak of the global nancial
crisis, there has been a sharp radicalisation of young people, in terms of their
social and political identities. This development exhibits both continuities
and dierences with earlier waves of protest movements from the 1960s onwards.
Protest politics gained ground over more traditional forms of political participation
especially among the young, with a proliferation of related practices, ranging from
demonstrations and acts of political disobedience to riots, violent episodes, anomic
behaviour and even extreme political choices (e.g. supporting fascist and Nazi
political organisations). This is not, of course, to argue that all these phenomena
can be put in one and the same basket, constituting a linear continuum; on the
contrary, as we shall see, some of these practices are inspired by anti-authoritarian,
egalitarian impulses, while others obey authoritarian, strongly hierarchical and
violent worldviews. Typical examples of this radicalised behaviour were, on the one
hand, the youth riots in Greece in 2008 and England in 2011, the Occupy Wall Street
movement, the Spanish indignados, the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North
Africa, the large student demonstrations with educational demands in Britain, Chile,
the United States, etc. On the other hand, political concerns about youth radical-
isation – previously focusing on racist and xenophobic incidents – has gained new
momentum more recently with widely reported cases of young European citizens
travelling to Syria to ght, mostly alongside the Syrian opposition (Bigo et al. 2014:
6). As Bigo et al. maintain, although:
the potential appeal for young people to join conflicts were already raised during the
Bosnian war (1992-1995), the first Chechen war (1994-1996), the Second Intifada (2000-
2005), and the war in Afghanistan that started in 2001 … [t]he situation in Syria has
gained more importance because of the number of individuals involved (ibid: 14).195
195. With regard to the role of young people in conflicts at the global level, it is characteristic that in
2009 more than 300 000 children and young people (those under the age of 18) were serving as
combatants, fighting in almost 75% of world conflicts (Bott et al. 2009: 65).
Page 316 Thinking seriously about youth work
In particular, in December 2015 the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation
estimated the number of European citizens joining the Syrian rebels to be around
4 000, with France, Germany and the UK figuring as the biggest contributors (BBC
2016).196 The supposed threat posed by these young fighters for the rest of Europe’s
citizens but also the potential harm for the young people themselves – as a result
of their participation in extremist and terrorist groups – placed the issue of youth
radicalisation at the top of the European political agenda. Hence both the EU and
the Council of Europe have produced policy documents and recommendations
calling on their member states to increase their efforts to prevent radicalisation
and extremism.197
Against this background, the main aim of this chapter will be to discuss the role of
youth work in dealing with the troubling dimensions of youth radicalisation in times
of (in)security and intensive securitisation.198 The chapter will be divided into three
sections. In the first section, we will provide a short outline of the phenomenon of
youth radicalisation, focusing on the factors, motives and benefits that drive young
people to violent radicalisation. In the second section we will explore the potential
contribution of youth work to the prevention of youth radicalisation. Finally, in the
third section we will review some criticisms of the current counter-radicalisation
programmes, which may problematise the involvement of youth work in these
efforts. Our conclusion is that although youth work can indeed contribute to the
prevention of violent youth radicalisation or to the promotion of positive radicalism
196. However, many put the overall figure of identified and unidentified people far higher. It is charac-
teristic that just from Britain, 800 individuals “have gone to Syria to fight or support Isis since
2012, while a further 600 have been caught trying to enter (The Observer 2016). Concerning
the demographics of people who become radicalised and turn to violence in the West, these are
“young and male, generally aged between mid-teens and mid-20s” (Christmann 2012: 23), that is,
“younger than reported in the past” (Bott et al. 2009: 4). In addition, research suggests that “there
appear to be more females joining the ranks of terrorist organisations”, although their role – at
least in Islamic radicalisation – appears to remain mainly supportive (Bott et al. 2009: 4, 23). In any
case, it is a misconception that violent extremism and terrorism exclusively concern men.
197. For instance, in January 2014 the European Commission drafted the Communication “Preventing
radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism: strengthening the EU’s response” (European
Commission 2014), while in June 2014 the Council of the European Union adopted a revised
EU strategy on preventing radicalisation and recruitment, see http://register.consilium.europa.
eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2014469%202005%20REV%204, accessed 2 April 2017. In the same
vein, in May 2015 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted an Action Plan
setting out a variety of concrete measures in the public sector and on the internet to prevent
and fight violent radicalisation, see www.coe.int/t/DGHL/STANDARDSETTING/PRISONS/
PCCP%20documents%202015/CM%20Action%20Plan.pdf, accessed 2 April 2017. One of the
initiatives taken within this framework was the establishment of the Radicalisation Awareness
Network (RAN), “an EU-wide umbrella network connecting key organisations and networks of
local actors involved in preventing radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism, including
first-line practitioners and field experts, such as social and health workers, teachers, civil society
organisations, including victims’ groups, as well as policy makers, local authorities, law enforce-
ment officers, prosecutors, security officials, counter terrorism specialists, think tanks, institutes
and academics” (European Commission, no date).
198. Here the term securitisation is used according to the definition given by the Copenhagen School,
which is represented by Barry Buzan and Ole Waever with their collaborators at the Copenhagen
Peace Research Institute (CORPI). See Buzan, Waever and de Wilde 1998.
Youth radicalisation and the role of youth work in times of (in)security Page 317
(so-called “healthy” political activism), if the youth work sector takes part in counter-
radicalisation programmes that are limited to security concerns it will risk losing its
credibility among the young.
Defining and explaining youth radicalisation:
factors, motives and benefits
Before exploring the factors that make young people vulnerable to (violent) radical-
isation, it is necessary to provide a definition of the key term of this chapter: what
do we mean by “youth radicalisation”? The way in which the terms radical”, “radical-
ised” and “radicalisation are used differs across Europe, with important implications
not only for the formation of policy objectives but also for the operational shaping
and implementation of relevant programmes and projects; in particular, in some
countries the term “youth radicalisation” refers exclusively to Islamic radicalisation,
while in others the emphasis is given to other forms of extremism, such as far right
or far left ideologies. In order to cover all types of radicalisation (including animal
rights and environmental extremism) we adopt a mixed approach according to which
(youth) radicalisation is defined as “the process through which an individual changes
from passiveness or activism to become more revolutionary, militant or extremist,
especially where there is intent towards, or support for, violence” (ISD 2010: 2).199
At this point it is clearly necessary to highlight that the development of radical
notions in young people should not be defined as something problematic per se.200
On the contrary, the passion that young people often develop for radical ideologies
and thoughts may indicate that young people are politically involved and in search
of an active citizenship (IBZ 2014: 2, 7). Thus, as put by the Organization for Security
and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE):
[w]hile radicalisation is often understood and spoken with a negative connotation, it was
argued that youth should be radicalised towards peace and democracy. Youth should
be encouraged to embrace and actively promote peace, tolerance and democracy
although these may be held as radical ideas in their communities (OSCE 2013: 3).
For instance, if we consider the role of student movements throughout history, we
can see that in many cases student movements acted as a counterforce to systematic
oppression (societal, political or economic), that is, as a transmitter of progressive
ideas and values and as a catalyst for positive change.201
199. Within the framework of the project STRESAVIORA, radicalisation has been described as
follows: “The process of [an individual or a group] adopting an extremist belief system [inspired
by philosophical, religious, political or ideological notions], including the willingness to use,
support or facilitate violence [or undemocratic means], as a method to effect [drastic] societal
change” (IBZ 2014: 2).
200. Similarly, the OSCE stresses that “[h]olding views or beliefs that are considered to be radical
or extreme, as well as their peaceful expression, should not be considered crimes per se.
Non-violent forms of extremism should not be the object of law enforcement measures unless
associated with another unlawful act, as legally defined in compliance with international human
rights law” (OSCE 2013: 4).
201. For a more comprehensive analysis of the role of student movements throughout history, see
Burg 1998.
Page 318 Thinking seriously about youth work
At any rate, regarding the study of the phenomenon of youth radicalisation, one
should keep in mind the following points:
youth radicalisation should not be seen as a mechanical, linear process, but as a
relational dynamic (Bigo et al. 2014: 6, 11);202
youth radicalisation is a hugely complex phenomenon;203
there is no evidence of a single profile to describe young people who become
radical (IBZ 2014: 2; Bott et al. 2009: 12).204
But what are the underlying factors that influence youngsters in the process of radi-
calisation? Given the fact that the psychological explanations of radicalisation have
failed to designate a “terrorist personality” or some other distinguishing perso nality
traits (e.g. some form of pathology), societal-level explanations appear to be the
commonest form of explanation for violent radicalisation in the relevant literature
(Christmann 2012: 23, 24). In particular, it seems that the experience of relative
deprivation, personally or at the wider group level (i.e. the relative fortunes of the
Muslim world in comparison to the West), is considered one of the root causes of
youth radicalisation; it operates through an awareness of what others have in rela-
tion to the perceivers (materially, culturally or in terms of social status) and when
they perceive these differences to be meaningful and potentially unjust” (ibid.: 24).
Indeed, several studies have demonstrated that youth unemployment – but also
other structural inequalities, such as poverty and low educational attainment – is
one of the key issues contributing to youth radicalisation and extremism, because
“when young people are refused a job for having extra knowledge and experience
they might develop a sense of despair and frustration” (OSCE 2015: 23).205
Apart from relative deprivation theory, another explanation for youth radicalisation
is related to discrimination that individuals or certain communities are experiencing,
which results in a sense of alienation from wider society. In Christmann’s words:
202. In fact, it has been argued that radicalisation is a “gradual process … that requires a progression
through distinct stages and happens neither quickly not easily” (Christmann 2012: 10).
203. Indeed, “there is no single pathway” and most agree that there are many factors that may contri-
bute towards an individual becoming radicalised (Observer 2016; ISD 2010: 2). In this respect,
Bigo et al. point out that “the analysis of the socio-political sequences of action and contexts, of
interrelationships between social structures, political contexts and biographical exposure in which
violence is embedded is key to understand the process of radicalisation” (2014: 12).
204. On the contrary, what appears to characterise radicalised people (e.g. Islamic extremists, at least
in the West) is “their normality and ordinariness” (Christmann 2012: 23, 31; Bigo et al. 2014: 12).
Indeed, as Bott et al. have pointed out “[t]he young persons who have been recruited or radicalised
span a range of ages and developmental stages, include both males and females, have varying
skill sets and education levels, and appear to have grown up in a variety of environments” (2009:
12).
205. For instance, a study on the interrogation transcripts of 600 young men held at the Guantanamo
Bay detention centre has indicated that for a number of detainees, mainly unskilled and semi-skilled
labourers, “going on jihad was alternative employment’” (Curcio 2005: 53). However, it may also
be the case that better or even highly qualified young people radicalise because the promise of
smooth transition to the labour market for the better qualified does not work any more in some
countries.
Youth radicalisation and the role of youth work in times of (in)security Page 319
the intensity of feeling experienced in cases of discrimination, hostility and blocked
mobility can underlie a change in identity formation, prompting a “cognitive opening”
and change in previous belief systems which may lead the individual to alternative
discourses, such as radical Islam, that provide ideological explanations and repertoires
of action to overcome it (Christmann 2012: 25).
In the same vein, other studies suggest that residential segregation (or self-segre-
gation) of some communities (mainly of Muslim communities) plays a substantial
role in the radicalisation process by “hindering mutual understanding between
communities and reinforcing mistrust and the fear of the other’ (OSCE 2013: 3).
Although the above-mentioned “root causes” (perceived deprivation, discrimination
and residential segregation) may play a facilitative role in the radicalisation process,
available research indicates that there are many more factors that increase the risk
of involvement with radicalisation. These include push factors, that is circumstances
that make a person more open to radical messages (e.g. group dynamics, recruitment,
political events); pull factors, that is elements that influence the individual and “pull”
her towards more attractive alternatives (e.g. personal experiences, charismatic
leaders); and triggers, such as a dramatic event in the person’s life (e.g. war, loss of
a family member, an experienced act of discrimination), which may accelerate the
process of radicalisation (IBZ 2014: 2). Finally, in the literature special emphasis is
given to the role of political grievances as a basic explanatory factor driving radica l -
isation in Europe, especially with regard to Western foreign policy, the sense of dis-
crimination created by the state and its agencies (e.g. law enforcement agencies),
and the perceived humiliation of Muslims in conflict zones (Christmann 2012: 26;
Ragazzi and Bechler 2016: 5).206
But what are the benefits of recruitment for young people? The literature suggests
that membership in terrorist groups offers young people a variety of benefits/
inducements, which function as “pull factors”. These include the following (the list
is indicative only):
f
social bonds, a sense of community/belonging, friendships, feelings of
comradeship, a substitute “family”;
f
identity, increased status and self-esteem, respect, acceptance, recognition,
purpose;
foutlets of frustration (fulfilling the desire for vengeance);
206. It is important to stress also that much has been written about the significant role of the new
ICTs in the recruitment of youth and the dissemination of propaganda. As relevant research
suggests, terrorist groups target young people worldwide using different kinds of online
media, such as internet sites – designed specifically for youth audiences – online magazines,
colourful comics, video games, recorded audio speeches, explicit photo galleries, web forums,
chat rooms, private e-mails and social media tools (OSCE 2015: 15; Bott et al. 2009: 55, 58-9).
However, although ICTs indeed play a facilitating and enabling role, at least at the initial
stages of the radicalisation process (creating bonds that are necessary for radicalisation, main-
taining networks contacts, promoting radical ideology, etc.), it seems that violent action is
unlikely to originate without previous face-to-face interaction (Bigo et al. 2014: 16; Christmann
2012: 30).
Page 320 Thinking seriously about youth work
f a sense of risk and excitement in belonging to a dangerous (and more or
less clandestine) group;207
f a sense of security and, in particular, protection against various enemies or
perceived threats, as well as employment, money and solidarity (Bott et al.
2009: 15, 69; Christmann 2012: 27; Bjorgo 2005: 5-7; Curcio 2005: 53, 73).
What is interesting here is that the above-mentioned benefits of membership
constitute factors “that could just easily lead youth to other types of … non-violent
groups or networks” (Bott et al. 2009: 15). As we will see in the next section, some
of the essential needs (personal, welfare and social) of young people that are met
by extremist organisations can also be accommodated by the services of the youth
work sector.
Preventing youth radicalisation: the role of youth work
As mentioned earlier, the EU, the Council of Europe and their member states have
taken a variety of counter-radicalisation measures to prevent youth radicalisation.
These include pre-emptive judicial powers (i.e. the extension of the pre-charge
detention period), a broad range of administrative measures (i.e. stop and search
powers) and “softer” approaches/policies that involve a wide range of actors including
the youth work sector (Bigo et al. 2014: 7). In particular, softer approaches/policies
“include the establishment of partnerships with community representatives, invest-
ment in social and neighbourhood projects, as well as mentoring schemes dedicated
to youths ‘at risk’ of radicalisation (ibid.: 27). Front-line actors, such as the police,
kindergarten instructors, teachers, university professors, doctors, health/mental
health professionals and youth workers are considered to play a special role within
these partnerships, since they may come into direct contact with young people on
the path to violent radicalisation.208
What is, however, the exact role of youth work in these partnerships and how can
youth work contribute to the prevention of youth radicalisation?
As suggested earlier, one of the root causes of youth radicalisation is related to
social exclusion (deprivation, discrimination, segregation). Considering that social
exclusion “is a process of progressive multidimensional rupturing of the ‘social
bond’ at the individual and collective level”, youth work can set young people onto
the trajectory towards inclusion by providing them with meaningful activities and
recognition for positive behaviour and facilitating the creation of positive relation-
ships (with peers and adults) (Dunne et al. 2014: 157). Positive bonding contributes
not only to the well-being of young people but also to the promotion of positive
207. According to Bjorgo, young persons “who have failed to establish a positive identity and status in
relation to school, work, sports or other social activities and settings sometimes try to win respect
by joining groups with a dangerous, intimidating image” (2005: 6).
208. Today, there is a great variety of projects, programmes and activities incorporated within coun-
ter-radicalisation across European countries, including the PREVENT strategy and the CHANNEL
youth mentoring scheme in the UK, the EXIT programme in Sweden, and the STREET programme
in the UK, etc. (ISD 2010).
Youth radicalisation and the role of youth work in times of (in)security Page 321
civic engagement
209
and the prevention of anti-social behaviours (including violent
radicalisation) (Dunne et al. 2014: 140).
In addition, youth work can offer to young people safer spaces for contact,
discussion, pluralistic debate, negotiation and engagement among youth (but also
between generations), as well as opportunities to raise the concerns that extremist
organisations seek to exploit and react to events related to violent extremism (ISD
2010: 4; OSCE 2013: 3). Thus, young people, by interacting with individuals from
other communities, can channel [their] energy and sometimes [their] frustration
and anger into positive alternatives to violent extremism such as civic and/or demo-
cratic engagement” (OSCE 2013: 13).
210
Arguably, all this goes hand in hand with
intercultural learning and democratic citizenship (formal and non-formal) education,
especially in the current context, with a fear of terrorist attacks and mass refugee
flows increasingly generating racist attitudes among European citizens. In particular,
youth work can help young people develop a range of very important intercultural
skills and competences (i.e. critical thinking, intercultural awareness, cross-cultural
communication, cultural relations competence, problem solving, conflict handling,
cultural flexibility, etc.), which foster understanding, tolerance and respect among
religious and cultural communities, but also combat xenophobia, racism and other
similar phenomena (anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, etc.) (Giannaki 2015).
In the same vein, youth work can promote counter-narratives and alternative role
models based on human rights, tolerance, interfaith understanding and democracy.
Indeed, based on positive experiences from the engagement of young people in the
prevention of other anti-social or risk behaviours (such as drug abuse) it seems that
youth organisations can play an important role in countering discourse that drives
youth towards violent radicalisation, especially because youth organisations have
better access to hard-to-reach individuals compared to other front-line practitioners
(OSCE 2015: 15; OSCE 2013: 5, 6). According to the OSCE, an emphasis should be put
on creating networks of youth from different online communities, supporting the
development of counter narratives by young people, training them in non-violent
response and hate online” (OSCE 2013: 6).211
Needless to say, youth workers (trainers, facilitators, etc.) should receive special
training so that they can deal effectively with cases of ideological prejudice (that
may drive youth towards violent radicalisation) and support young people in finding
ways to boost their positive energy (OSCE 2013: 10, 12; IBZ 2014: 11).
209. According to Kiwan, “citizenship as ‘feeling’ and citizenship as ‘practice’ are inextricably linked,
and also mutually enhancing: just as a sense of belonging may promote participation, the
experience of participation can enhance a sense of belonging” (2010: 184). Thus, by offering
young people opportunities for meaningful social engagement, youth work enhances their
feelings of belonging to the political community. In Balsano and Lerner’s words, “people who
have the opportunity to contribute to their own and others’ positive development”, by partici-
pating in meaningful activities, “will refuse involvement in radical movements and will choose …
to protect ideologies supportive of their and their communities’ successful development” (Balsano
and Lerner 2005: 157).
210. It has been suggested that the experience of co-operation between different religious and cultural
communities helps young people lose fear and gain trust (OSCE 2015: 19).
211. Maybe a change of language about youth radicalisation, drawing on its more positive aspects,
could open the door to a more positive interaction with radical youngsters (IBZ 2014: 10-11).
Page 322 Thinking seriously about youth work
Conclusion: youth work in times of (in)security
From the previous section it will have become apparent that youth work has the
potential to contribute to the prevention of youth radicalisation in a number of ways.
However, as already mentioned, the youth work sector is just one of many partners
that take part in the current programmes of counter-radicalisation across Europe.
Although the involvement of youth work in these partnerships has the potential to
produce positive results, the youth work sector should be cautious as some aspects
of this collaboration may be quite problematic.
In particular, most existing counter-radicalisation programmes are grounded in a
predictive idea of security,212 which requires early intervention to reduce opportu-
nity, as well as an increase of surveillance even before a crime is committed (Zedner
2007: 262). But this heavy involvement of police and intelligence agencies in integra-
tion work, and most importantly the exploitation of relations of trust in society in
order to make predictions, “reinforces suspicions on the part of the communities
that they are under surveillance and undermines government messages about
‘partnership’ (ISD 2010: 24). The issue of trust is crucial here. We know that a variety
of professionals – including youth workers but also teachers, university professors,
doctors, etc. – operate on the basis of trust, having a special relationship with the
public groups that they work with (their students, patients, etc.); in fact, these pro-
fessionals depend on those relations of trust in order to carry out their work properly
(Ragazzi and Bechler 2016: 8). What is really problematic here is the fact that “the
logic of counter-radicalisation is to ask those professionals to go precisely against the
necessities of their profession which are to build trust, and to replace it with a logic
of suspicion” (which is the logic of law enforcement and security professionals); if
they do that, they risk undermining “the very basis of the relationship they must have
with those they work with” (Ragazzi and Bechler 2016: 8). Bluntly put, if youth work
does not keep a safe distance from the purposes of security, it risks jeopardising the
fundamental condition of its existence and destroying its connections with youth.
Another problematic aspect of those partnerships is related to the stigmatisation
of certain communities (mainly Muslim) as “problems”, “suspects” or even security
threats” (Ragazzi and Bechler 2016: 9; ISD 2010: 23; Bigo et al. 2014: 28).
213
For instance,
although it is not purely targeted at young Muslims, the CHANNEL mentoring scheme
in the UK has created “a widespread feeling in the Muslim community that regular
activities, such as political involvement in peace movements … when carried out
212. According to Garland, in late modern societies, the general insecurity – which derives from
the precariousness of social and economic relations – results in increased public risk
consciousness and fear of crime (2001: 133). Since the capacity of governments to resolve large-
scale economic and social problems is restricted, they search for other sources of legitimacy in
order to demonstrate that they are still in control. Thus, their purpose becomes now the “micro-
management of society”, using laws and regulations, and an attempt to control the behaviour of
the public (Waiton 2008: 343; Crawford 2009: 814). In this respect the pursuit of security implies
now a shift from a post to a “pre-crime” society (Zedner 2007: 262; Crawford 2009: 814).
213. This is one more consequence of the predictive approach to security, within the framework of which
risk shapes and provides the rationale for many preventive interventions, while preoccupation
with individuals offenders relies upon the identification of suspect populations (Zedner 2007:
262, 265).
Youth radicalisation and the role of youth work in times of (in)security Page 323
by young Muslims, trigger unnecessary referral to the CHANNEL programme by
culturally insensitive teachers and professionals (Bigo et al. 2014: 28). On top of
criminalising the lawful political activism of youth, such discriminating practices also
generate frustration within Muslim communities and, as a result, diminish public
trust in the partners of counter-radicalisation programmes, including youth work
agencies. Needless to say, the alienation of young Muslims can increase substantially
the risk of making some individuals more vulnerable to violent radicalisation (Bigo
et al. 2014: 28).
In addition, one should also reflect on the wider implications of the counter-
radical i sation partnerships and, in general, on the implications of the close link-
ages and interactions between state and non-state organisations and actors in the
area of security. What is important here is that these partnerships do not result in
a withdrawal of the state; on the contrary, as Zedner has underlined, they extend
“state control over what might otherwise be essentially private or voluntary crime
control endeavours” (Zedner 2003: 163). But, most crucially, they promote informal
crime control, which complements and extends the formal control of the criminal
justice system (Garland 2001: 124).
To conclude, youth work has indeed an important role to play in the prevention
of youth radicalisation and/or the promotion of positive radicalisation (lawful and
democratic political activism). Nevertheless, as we have tried to show, youth work
agencies should be very careful when taking part in counter-radicalisation pro-
grammes that are shaped and implemented mainly through the lens of security.
In our view, in order to be successful in achieving its aims – integration, a sense
of belonging, etc. – youth work should try to remain as distinct as possible from
security-related interventions.214
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PREMS 016217
ENG
THINKING
SERIOUSLY ABOUT
YOUTH WORK
And how to prepare
people to do it
Youth Knowledge #20
THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT YOUTH WORK
9 789287 184160
http://book.coe.int
ISBN 978-92-871-8416-0
€58/US$116
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human
rights organisation. It comprises 47 member states,
28 of which are members of the European Union. All
Council of Europe member states have signed up to the
European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed
toprotect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The European Court of Human Rights oversees the
implementation of the Convention in the member states.
www.coe.int
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership
between 28 democratic European countries. Its aims are peace,
prosperity and freedom for its 500 million citizens – in a fairer, safer
world. To make things happen, EU countries set up bodies to run
the EU and adopt its legislation. The main ones are the European
Parliament (representing the people of Europe), the Council of
the European Union (representing national governments) and the
European Commission (representing the common EU interest).
http://europa.eu
If we consider the 50 states having ratied the European Cultural
Convention of the Council of Europe or the member states of the
European Union, the multiple and divergent nature of the realities,
theories, concepts and strategies underlying the expression “youth
work” becomes evident. Across Europe, youth work takes place in
circumstances presenting enormous dierences with regard to
opportunities, support, structures, recognition and realities, and
how it performs reects the social, cultural, political and economic
context, and the value systems in which it is undertaken.
By analysing theories and concepts of youth work and by
providing insight from various perspectives and geographical and
professional backgrounds, the authors hope to further contribute
to nding common ground for – and thus assure the quality of –
youth work in general. Presenting its puried and essential concept
is not the objective here. The focus rather is on describing how to
“provide opportunities for all young people to shape their own
futures”, as Peter Lauritzen described the fundamental mission of
youth work.
The best way to do this remains an open question. This Youth
Knowledge book tries to nd some answers and strives to
communicate the strengths, capacities and impact of youth work to
those within the youth sector and those beyond, to those familiar
with its concepts and those new to this eld, all the while sharing
practices and insights and encouraging further reection.
http://youth-partnership-eu.coe.int
youth-partnership@partnership-eu.coe.int
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the scholarly literature on the process(es) of radicalisation, particularly among young people, and the availability of interventions to prevent extremism
Article
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The ‘anti-social behaviour’ agenda in Britain and the introduction of diverse new powers and regulatory tools represent a major challenge to traditional conceptions of criminal justice. This article argues that the language of regulation has been appropriated and deployed to cloak and legitimize ambitious (yet ambiguous) bouts of hyper-active state interventionism. These may have more to do with quests to demonstrate government's capacity to be seen to be doing something tangible about public anxieties than with meaningful behavioural change. Rather, regulatory ideas are being used to circumvent and erode established criminal justice principles, notably those of due process, proportionality and special protections traditionally afforded to young people. Consequently, novel technologies of control have resulted in more intensive and earlier interventions.
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The promotion of respect in society, like the concern about anti-social behaviour, engages with issues that on the one hand are relatively small or insignificant — dropping litter or not saying ‘thank you’, for example. The ‘ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) agenda’ in the United Kingdom has been criticised for its authoritarian dynamic — especially by those on the left. However, even for critics there appears to be an uncertainty about the nature of behaviour today and a certain sense that there are some real problems to be addressed. Some, for example, believe that we are living in a ‘culture of greed’ — a belief that raises questions not only about capitalism and consumerism, but also about the very nature of relationships between people — indeed about the nature of people themselves. This chapter argues that there are some new problems to address today, but that the problem we face is ultimately not one of an anti-social society but of an asocial society. It looks at Tony Blair's ‘Respect Agenda’ and the politics of behaviour, along with the so-called therapeutic me.
Article
Conventionally, crime is regarded principally as harm or wrong and the dominant ordering practices arise post hoc. In the emerging pre-crime society, crime is conceived essentially as risk or potential loss, ordering practices are pre-emptive and security is a commodity sold for profit. Though this dichotomy oversimplifies a more complex set of changes, it captures an important temporal shift. As the intellectual offspring of the post-crime society, criminology must adapt to meet the challenges of pre-crime and security. This article examines the key features a theory of security needs to encompass. It explores the immanent capacities of criminology for change and suggests exterior intellectual resources upon which it might draw. It concludes that the pre-crime society need not be a post-criminological one.
This essay seeks to move on from the critical debates that have followed the publication of The Culture of Control by taking up constructive suggestions, refining or extending the book's claims, and sketching out new lines for future research. After a preliminary discussion of the proper role of theory in historical and sociological research it seeks to clarify and develop the following ideas: the concept of the field and its role in the study of crime control and criminal justice; the field as a contested balance of forces; situated rationality and conflicted action; gender relations and the culture of control; national characteristics and responses to late modernity; American exceptionalism; analysis and critique in the study of social control.
Article
Major changes in the governance of crime are occurring within, on the margins, and outside the public sphere. Exemplified by the development of risk assessment, crime prevention, community safety, insurance, and private security, these changes call into question traditional modes of crime control and challenge existing criminal justice values. This article asks what exactly is on offer when security stands as the justification for public and private action, to whom, and at what cost. It goes on to identify several significant paradoxes entailed in the pursuit of security, whose attendant costs need to be taken into account. Yet, whereas punishment provokes us to ask why, how, and in what measure the state may inflict pain upon its citizens, security has not been thought to require special justification because in many ways it seems preferable to punishment. The paper contends both that security is in need of special justification and that it is necessary to develop guiding principles in order to regulate its pursuit. This leads to the larger question of whether and in what manner it is possible to regulate the ‘security society’ so as to ensure accountable, fair, and inclusive provision of protection.
National Security Research Division, available at www.rand.org/content/ dam
  • Paper
Paper, National Security Research Division, available at www.rand.org/content/ dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2006/RAND_WR354.pdf, accessed 2 April 2017.
Recruitment and radicalisation of school-aged youth by international terrorist groups
  • C Bott
Bott C. et al. (2009), Recruitment and radicalisation of school-aged youth by international terrorist groups, Homeland Security Institute, Arlington.
Encyclopedia of student and youth movements, Facts On File
  • D Burg
Burg D. (1998), Encyclopedia of student and youth movements, Facts On File, New York.