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Researchers to study extremist narratives in Europe in order to counteract them

30 May 2023
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Researchers from the Centre for Studies on Dictatorships and Democracies (CEDID) of the UAB participate in the recently launched Horizon Europe project ARENAS (Analysis of and Responses to Extremist Narratives). The research will study the extremist narratives affecting political and social life in Europe with the aim of proposing solutions to counteract them, for a more inclusive and respectful development of society.

Foto de grup de l'equip de recerca del projecte ARENAS
The research team that will carry out the ARENAS project.

Coordinated by the University of CY Cergy Paris, France, ARENAS brings together a multidisciplined consortium of nine Universities, an NGO, two SME’s as well as five associated impact partners comprised of an International Association, two National Associations, and two NGOs. The UAB participates through the CEDID Steven Forti, lecturer at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History, local coordinator of the project.

Over the next four years, ARENAS will be putting the spotlight on extremist narratives that affect political and social life in Europe. The team will examine the nature of these narratives and seeks to understand the discourses they impact, particularly with regard to science, gender and national identity. By understanding how these narratives work, the project will empower people to resist them. To foster a spirit of people living together in harmony across Europe, policy recommendations will be made as to how prevent such narratives from taking hold in the future.

Thus, the overall objective of ARENAS is to characterise, measure and understand the role of extremist narratives in discourses that have an impact not only on political and social spheres, but importantly on the stakeholders themselves.  Leading an innovative and ambitious research programme, the research team will significantly contribute to filling the gap in contemporary research, make recommendations to policy makers, media, lawyers, social inclusion professionals and educational institutions, and propose solutions for countering these narratives with the aim of developing more inclusive and respectful European societies.

The kick-off meeting, held recently in France, welcomed representatives from lead partner CY Cergy Paris Université (France), Institute of Contemporary History (Slovenia), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Institut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials (Spain), University of Helsinki (Finland), CNRS (France), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany), Università degli studi di Genova (Italy), University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Creative Ideas (Latvia), Momentum Educate + Innovate (Ireland), Wateronmars (Italy), and Fundació OXFAM Intermón (Spain).