Browse practices and methods that have proven useful in the work against radicalisation

European Institute of Peace – Molenbeek and violent radicalisation: a social mapping

The European Institute of Peace (EIP) is an independent partner of the European Union and tries to restore and ensure peace through mediation, informal dialogue and diplomacy. Furthermore it collects experts and knowledge on European mediation, conflict analysis and training. Its aim is to reduce polarisation and decrease the risk of extremism in European societies by bringing together parties that find it difficult to engage with each other without third-party assistance. The dialogues are supported by operational data on the social patterns of communities affected by or at risk of extremism.
The good practice example is the project, which the European Institute of Peace conducted in Molenbeek to analyse the factors shaping political and social behaviours, the consequences the presence of violent radicals has had on the life of the citizens of Molenbeek and the root causes of violent radicalisation. This part of Brussels has been chosen, because it got famous as home of the Belgian jihadists, who participated at the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. In addition to that Molenbeek is the second-poorest municipality in Belgium, has a large population with a foreign background (in some districts up to 81 %) – predominantly Moroccan – and 47 of its citizens left the city for Syria – which is 10 % of the total number of Belgian foreign fighters.
During the nine-month long investigation the European Institute of Peace conducted in a first round 406 semi-structured, semi randomised survey interviews with inhabitants (149 women and 257 men) about their perceptions on what drives violent extremism and how it affected the community and in a second round unstructured interviews (64 women and 36 men). The participants of the semi-structured interviews were selected through a random probability sample supplemented by quota sampling to account for those individuals that are part of the social structures of Molenbeek, but don’t live there. А two-month process of unstructured interviews followed to complement the report with qualitative analysis. The interviewees were either long-term residents in Molenbeek or social workers in the community. The long-term residents were randomly selected through invitations to dialogue events, whereas the social workers were selected through purposive sampling