How to address Polarisation as an underlying Cause of Hate Crime and Radicalisation?
Hate crimes, growing intolerance, xenophobia, closed ideologies and communities, street violence by the extreme left and right – all are manifestations of polarisation and are threats to Europe’s fundamental values. Austerity and economic reform have caused a great deal of uncertainty and anger all over Europe. This uncertainty is being exploited by actors to mobilise support on the basis of an ‘us and them’ narrative. This results in increased tension. The refugee and migrant crisis also provide fuel for polarisation, as did recent terrorist attacks and incidents. These attacks, in turn, led to an increase in hate crime incidents; some small scale, others more serious. Polarisation fertilises the breeding ground for radicalisation.
Underlining their own regional problems with polarisation – and looking for a way to understand it – RAN practitioners from across Europe gathered in Amsterdam last year. They were, in particular, seeking a way to do something, to manage the situation and reflecting the focuses of different working groups, elaborated the Polarisation Management Manual. The manual explains the mechanisms of polarisation and offers practical guidance on how to address it.