Research Program on Extremism and Radicalisation

As an interdisciplinary research group, the Research Program on Extremism and Radicalisation provides a platform for scholars working on various aspects of the worldwide nexus between extremism/radicalism and populism. Research topics cover issues related to populism such as far-right and -left radicalisation, religious and ethnic radicalism/extremism, religious fundamentalism, fascism, etc.

In line with the general vision and mission of ECPS, the Research Program on Extremism and Radicalisation seeks to develop a better understanding of populism by exploring the underlying factors and processes that perpetuate radicalisation and extremism, such as wider political fissures, socio-economic divisions, polarisation, local dynamics, marginalisation, social inequities, and racism. The research program is open to scholars from various disciplines focusing on the inter-relation between extremism and populism. The program is run by a steering committee that is responsible for the coordination of the research group’s activities and research topics.

We welcome work from scholars researching extremism/radicalism, with a specific focus on populism.

Research Topics

Our research is built around a focused medium-term research programme, with cycles of two years. Every ECPS member plays a role in identifying research priorities. The two-year programmes are adopted by the steering committee members, after discussions between ECPS experts, members, and other stakeholders. Research topics will include but are not limited to:

  • Radicalisation and Populist Movements: How is radicalisation involved in the phenomenal growth of populist movements, specifically in right-wing populism?
  • Racism and Extremism: How does social exclusion, racism, and marginalization explain participation in extremist organisations?
  • Religion and Populism: What are the intersections between religion, identity, extremism, and populism? What is the role of religion, religious ideology, and religious identity in the growth of extremism and populism?
  • Ethno-territorial Populism: How do nationalist movements develop ideological trajectories aligned with certain types of populist discourses?
  • Reciprocal Extremism: How to understand and analyse the similarities and parallels between Islamist and far-right radicalization in Europe?
  • Interventions: What are the ways to develop potential interventions designs that can help to “de-program” violent and non-violent extremists?

What We Do

The program offers exchanges and provides insights on and potential solutions to populism-driven extremism. To achieve these ends, we use the following methods:

  • Research Projects.
  • Publications such as the e-newsletter “Extreme populism,” working papers, and a current affairs blog.
  • Regular events such as discussion forums, seminars, and workshops.