Radicalization is a multi-stage process which begins with the polarization of society into antagonistic identity-based groupings: “us” and “others”. Over time, that may develop into hatred, and then the incitement to and the perpetration of extreme acts and crimes. An early-stage intervention seeking to address this process before it becomes fully-developed, may avert tragedies. The impacts of the global economic and financial crisis and the migration and refugee crisis of 2015 have strengthened the trends towards polarization of societies and increased the number of socially marginalized people who have become more vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment by extreme groups. The challenges require a multi-agent approach and preventive activities focused on the marginalized groups including criminals and prisoners.
The objective of the conference is to provide space for scholars and practitioners to share best practices relating to polarization and radicalization in Europe and pooling national resources. The conference aims to also present some international experience and fight against extremism in the European prison and probation systems. The event will allow for presenting the outcome of a one year project aimed at improvement of capacities of staffs in the Hungarian prison and probation system in the field of radicalization.
The conference is considered as a follow up of the conference held in the National University of Public Service in June 2016 which set the issues of preventing violent radicalization and multiagency approach on its agenda. The event will raise the awareness of the participants, including representatives of the security sector in Hungary over the challenges of polarization and radicalization and promote the establishment a network of Hungarian governmental and local authorities willing to pool their capabilities for preventing extremism. The conference will contribute to the exchange of views between Hungarian and international experts, their cooperation and identification of new tools for preventing radicalization in Europe.