We are casting our research net far and wide, examining nearly two dozen countries in five corners of the world.
We begin by critically reviewing models of state-religion relations, governance of cultural diversity and challenges of radicalisation and violence in 23 individual states (below). During the second phase of our research, we narrow our focus to 13 of those initial countries, diving deeper into the dynamics of religiously inspired radicalisation.
23 countries in five distinct regions are included in our initial research phase:
States in four macro-regions of Europe:
- Western Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, the UK)
- Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain)
- Central Eastern Europe (Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia)
- South Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria)
Countries in four regions outside the EU:
- Eurasia (Russia)
- The MENA region (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey)
- South and Southeast Asia (India, Indonesia and Malaysia)
- The Asia-Pacific region (Australia).
The idea is to compare state-religion relations and governance of religion/religious diversity in multiple settings. During this process we are also seeking to identify forms of religiously narrated radicalisation and to describe what types of resilience may have emerged in response. The insights gained will provide a basis for re-thinking European models.
In terms of religious diversity, we are looking at:
- Predominantly Muslim countries (such as Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia)
- Countries with pronounced historical religious diversity (such as India and Lebanon) and
- A predominantly migrant pluralist nation (such as Australia).
With regard to religiously inspired radicalism, we consider two levels:
1. The state level, which involves political/state use, instrumentalisation or control of religion and/or a religious use or control of politics and the state (and the concomitant denial of liberal democratic pluralism); and
2. The individual/community level, which concerns willingness to use or support the use of violence in the name of a religion or against a religion.
We are taking a more in-depth look at the dynamics of religiously inspired radicalisation in 13 countries. These include four EU member states (Belgium, France, Germany and the UK), one in southeastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina), one in Eurasia (Russia), three in the MENA region (Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco), one in South Asia (India), two in Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia) and one in the Asia Pacific region (Australia). All of these countries share a common challenge in coping with violent religious radicalisation among their native, migrant or post-migrant Muslim populations