London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

ESF Workshop: Youth Radicalisation And The Role Of Secular And Religious Ideologies In Legitimising Politically Motivated Violence

European Science Foundation


On 26/27 June 2008, Dr. Nick Mai of ISET, in co-operation with Dr. Sara
Silvestri of City University (London) and Martijn de Koning (ISIM, Leiden)
will host an ESF exploratory workshop on:

'Youth Radicalisation And The Role Of Secular And Religious Ideologies In
Legitimising Politically Motivated Violence'

The workshop will bring together 18 European scholars, who will present
papers on and discuss the interplay between 'religious' and 'secular'
ideologies, practices and identities in relation to current and past
engagements of young people in politically motivated violence.

At a historical and (geo)political level, the main comparative axes of the
workshop will be between:

- the political 'terrorisms' of the 1970s in Italy and Germany,

- the Irish/UK 'troubles' of the 1980s and 1990s,

- the rise of extreme right movements in the EU (Germany, Italy, the

- the 'banlieu' riots which took place in France in 2005; and

- the post 9/11 scenario in the UK/EU.

Besides these historical and (geo)political comparative axes, the workshop
will address the relation between the emergence of individualised youth
identities, wider socio-cultural and economic changes, such as the
transformation of family and gender relations, socio-economic
inclusion/exclusion and migration, in a number of EU countries. These
include: France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherland and the UK.

The workshop will be a unique occasion to discuss the role of secularism
and faith in forging a political alternative to globalised capitalism and
its structures. Moreover, by bringing together analyses of different
(geo)political and historical settings, the workshop will problematise the
'secular' nature of 1970s or current 'political' ideologies and the
'religious' nature of contemporary fondamentalist interpretations of

As foreseen by ESF guidelines, this workshop will be a closed event, but
it is anticipated that a number of publications will emerge. For further
information, please contact Dr. Nick Mai,


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