De opleiding Sociaal Werk van Odisee start van 1 mei 2017 tot en met 30 april 2019 samen met KULeuven en Université Libre de Liège een actie-onderzoek op rond het thema radicalisering, met als titel ‘Constructive analysis of Radicalisation ‘(CONRAD). Het project wordt gefinancierd door federaal wetenschapsbeleid BELSPO en mee vanuit Odisee geleid door een senior-onderzoeker die verbonden is aan de opleiding sociaal werk.
Het CONRAD project omvat een comparatieve en comprehensieve analyse van beleidsprogramma’s rond radicalisatie, een operationalisatie en praktijkvalidatie van innovatieve praktijken gebaseerd op herstelrecht en storytelling, het ontwikkelen van instrumenten voor praktijkwerkers en het formuleren van aanbevelingen voor beleidsmakers.
Not only radicalisation towards violence, but a proliferation of alarmist discourses, and the polarisation of our societies remain important challenges for Europe. The failure to understand the phenomenon and to find adequate ways of talking about it creates as much anxiety in societies as the phenomenon itself. The gaps existing between research, policies and programmes remain also a challenge. These constitute the need for creating constructive modes of engagement with the phenomenon and methodologies that are able to close the gaps. In accordance with the terms of the call under the theme ‘radicalisation’, the CONRAD project aims at developing a better understanding of the processes leading to radicalisation, and to provide insights and preventive tools for public bodies and civil society organisations. The research will focus on the dynamic processes of radicalisation, its causes, the perceptions in society (within certain groups, amongst practitioners and policy makers, and in society at large), and – most importantly - on how to develop and to adopt new perceptions which can help to surmount current unilateral approaches. In this way, the project aims at contributing to the strengthening of resilience of concerned groups in society, for which interaction and dialogue between these groups is considered as crucial. The participatory nature of the research as conceived in the project must support this approach.
Built around 5 WPs, CONRAD aims at (1) offering a comparative and comprehensive analysis of radicalisation related policies and programmes; (2) offering a constructive counterframing approach to understanding and communicating about radicalisation; (3) field-validating an innovative approach based on restorative justice and storytelling, and; (4) developing a set of recommendations and tools for practitioners and policy makers that are well-informed, reflexive, constructive, ethical and innovative.
Hence the central objective of the envisaged research project CONRAD (a constructive approach to radicalisation) is to conceptualise and to create new spaces of experience and knowledge which capacitate local communities to explore, to understand and to act on the basis of a relational and plural interpretation of the phenomenon. These learning processes will enhance the potential of resilience of local communities and will be accompanied by the researchers in order to evaluate both process and outcomes, and to transfer the acquired expertise to other sites and situations.
This all is built on a close partnership between research and practice, in the form of action research and two other types of collaborative and participatory undertakings.