BCC.20.008 – Resilient communities. Towards an evidence-based, community-driven approach to (de)radicalization and reconciliation

Route: Between conflict and cooperation

Cluster question: 056 How can we promote peace, security, and cooperation - and address threats and violations - within and between constitutional states and within and between groups and societies?

Radicalized individuals and groups threaten communities’ ability to resolve societal and cultural conflicts peacefully. Preventing radicalization – the process whereby individuals diverge from existing political-societal norms and values – and promoting deradicalization and disengagement therefore continue to be urgent societal issues. Recently, resilience has emerged as a key concept to understand the various ways radicalization can be combatted, its societal effects reduced, and processes of deradicalization and/or reconciliation facilitated. However, scholarly work on resilience has been mired in theoretical debates on its nature and metrics, and has often focused on specific types of resilience while overlooking others. Our aim is to engage in an interdisciplinary empirical study of resilience-in-practice in a variety of at-risk Dutch communities by identifying, within social, local and familial networks, protective factors that enhance resilience to radicalization and its societal consequences. Simultaneously, we aim to explore under which circumstances leaving an extremist environment becomes a viable option, reconciliation becomes possible, and how collaborative partnerships can be shaped to improve these circumstances. To achieve these aims, it is imperative that researchers work alongside practitioners, policymakers and residents, including (formerly) radicalized individuals and their family members. The resulting ‘resilience toolkit’ aims to secure a real breakthrough in capacity building against the threats of radicalization in different localities, while emphasizing communities’ agency and authorities’ ability to understand (de)radicalization from the viewpoints of the community concerned. The project’s key deliverables will include an overview of existing community initiatives to prevent radicalization and to promote deradicalization, disengagement and reconciliation by focusing on resilience, as well as a synthesis of the factors either enhancing or reducing resilience to radicalization within social, local and familial networks. This, in turn, will enable us to provide evidence-based policy recommendations, while also furthering the scientific debate on the relevance of resilience in the context of (de)radicalization and reconciliation.


community-based, Radicalization, reconciliation, resilience, tool-kit

Other organisations

Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving, Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), Utrecht University (UU)


Organisation Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Name Dr. E. (Elanie) Rodermond
E-mail e.rodermond@vu.nl