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Countering Radicalisation and Terrorist Threats

In the last decade, countering radicalisation that turns to terrorism has become an issue of particular concern for many European governments. It has reached new dramatic dimensions with the violent attacks in Paris from 2015. The current situation in Syria and Iraq and the emergence of the so-called Islamic State have led to new security threats especially concerning EU citizens joining the ranks of ISIS as foreign fighters. Another worrying trend for many countries in Europe is right-wing extremism which also has seen a resurgence in recent years. In response to terrorist attacks on European soil , many ‘softer’ policies were rolled out, especially in older EU member states. Instead of focusing exclusively on the immediate prevention of terrorist attacks, these policies aim at identifying and reversing the radicalisation process which often precedes the use of violence. This implies identifying and addressing root causes and drivers for radicalisation instead of focusing on enforcing control over its manifestations.

Yet, in many European states decision-makers lack the appropriate evidence to guide policy actions. More empirical evidence is needed on why, when and how individuals and groups are recruited in extremist organisations and under what conditions some of these individuals come to engage in violent acts. This is not an easy task as there is no single root cause of terrorism.

Developing working mechanisms in preventing and countering radicalisation is a long process that requires tailor-made instruments for recognising, monitoring and evaluating certain risk signs early on. This calls for the involvement of a wide range of public sector bodies and civil society, as well as having in place a supporting institutional infrastructure to enable multi-agency cooperation and community engagement.

Recognising the challenges that phenomena of radicalisation and terrorism pose before European societies, CSD works on developing effective methods to monitor radicalisation processes and identify risk groups in Southeast Europe.


Counter Terrorism: Bush, Obama, and Trump Policies
Monitoring radicalisation risks in Central and Southeast Europe: Shaping diagnostic tools for EU policymakers
Radicalisation and extremism risks in Bulgaria: towards more effective diagnostic and assessment tools
Members of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Center for Excellence visit the Center for the Study of Democracy
What Comes After the Islamic State: Implications for Europe
Monitoring and Responding to Radicalisation Trends and Risks
Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism Threats in Europe
Assessing Terrorists Threats
Prospects of Terrorism Financing and Terrorism Violence in the Middle East
Financing of International Terrorism
Round table on Financing of Terrorism


Monitoring Radicalisation: A Framework for Risk Indicators
Risks of Islamist Radicalisation in Bulgaria: A Case Study in the Iztok Neighbourhood of the City of Pazardzhik
Situational Assessment of Extremist Trends
CSD Policy Brief No. 68: Monitoring Radicalisation and Extremism
Radicalisation in Bulgaria: Threats and Trends
Trends in Radicalisation that May Lead to Violence: National Background Study, Greece
National Radicalisation Situation Report 2015, the Czech Republic
Understanding Radicalisation: Review of Literature
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