• Programme: BMBF, Research for Civil Security
  • Funding amount: €2.4 million, of which €387,000 Euros is allocated to Bavaria
  • Funding period: 03/2017–02/2020
  • Coordinator: Prof. Ursula Birsl, University of Marburg
  • Website: 

Propaganda, mobilisation and radicalisation in the virtual and real world

Social media are increasingly becoming places where social and political conflicts are played out in an extremely aggressive way. Actors with an extremist background not only use social media as propaganda platforms, but also to openly call for violence. The PANDORA project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is investigating the effects of this propaganda on the real world.
PANDORA is examining extremist ideas and symbolism on the Internet – in particular in social media – and how they contribute to radicalisation. At the same time, the researchers are analysing whether there are similarities between the discourses and propaganda coming from the Far Right and the Islamist spectrum, and the extent of these. In case studies of both the Far Right and Salafi Jihadist worlds, the effects that Internet propaganda has on radicalisation and the use of violence in the real world is examined. Current violent events and the associated discussions in social media are mapped, assigning them to the respective extremist grouping. This enables them to document the relationship between Internet propaganda and events in the real world. The result will be a monitoring model for analysing extremist discourses, radicalisation processes and dynamics of violence that can be used both by the police and by the operators of reception facilities for asylum seekers. Based on the results, the consortium is also developing tools and strategies for social prevention and early recognition of radicalisation processes, as well as for political education.

Comments on BayFOR’s contribution:

"The BayFOR team was very competent and committed to supporting us right from the start. For example, we received comprehensive advice on selecting suitable calls. Also as the application process continued, the team assisted us with their valuable expertise and knowledge in writing the application, which enabled us to make a successful project application.

Laura Henke
Munich Innovation Labs
Tel.: +49 (0)421 220 82 10

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