VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE), which is funded under the European Union Framework Programme 7, was established to look at the many varieties of Violent Online Political Extremism, how it impacts on society and the responses to it. This research network, comprised of academic institutions from around the EU and India, hosts an online teaching and research resource library of publications, videos, audio files and policy papers and facilitates seminars, training workshops and other events related to various aspects of violent online political extremism.
In addition, the network provides opportunities for students, researchers and other practitioners working in the area of political extremism to study and research in partner institutions. The project partners combine complementary expertise from a range of disciplines (e.g. Communications, Computer Science, Criminology, Ethics, International Relations and Politics).
Objectives of VOX-Pol
- Creation and development of long-term relationships between established national research groups and new researchers and research groups;
- Creation of a sustainable critical mass of innovative research activity amongst what is currently a growing, but fragmented group of researchers and research topics;
- Harnessing and refinement of software tools generally employed in other domains to collect and analyse Violent Online Political Extremism content;
- Provision of training in tools, methods, and substantive issues relating to Violent Online Political Extremism to other researchers, including PhD students and early career researchers, and those professionally tasked with monitoring and/or responding to Violent Online Political Extremism, via conferences, summer schools, and workshops;
- Raised awareness of the challenges of research and decision-making in this area by exploring the interplay of e-research ethics, privacy, surveillance, freedom of speech, and practices of and responses to Violent Online Political Extremism;
- Outreach to diverse publics, via contributions to mass media, public lectures and other public events, free-to-access publications, etc., describing our research and its purposes;
- Influencing research agendas on the European and world stages in key aspects of Violent Online Political Extremism;
- Ensuring that EU and member states’ strategies and policies targeting Violent Online Political Extremism are based on concrete evidence, experience, and knowledge about the contours and workings of Violent Online Political Extremism, and not untested assumptions, thus increasing such strategies and policies likelihood of success.