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Sharing Insights from the H2020 PARTICIPATION Project (Part: 2)

Insights from the H2020 PARTICIPATION Project

Deliverable 4.4 of the PARTICIPATION project explores the role of the gender dimension in the communication and propaganda developed and spread by extremist and radical groups, also focusing on its relevance to the dynamics of radicalisation. The aim of this deliverable, therefore, is to develop an up-to-date understanding of communicative approaches to the prevention and countering of violent extremism and radicalisation.

By analysing the emerging trends of violent extremism based on gender issues, Deliverable 4.4 finds that gender plays a key role in the radicalisation pathways and communication strategies of all kinds of extremism, albeit from different perspectives and for different goals. The role of gender issues is particularly relevant in the ongoing ideological re-casting and re-assemblage of the far-right. Moreover, anti-gender ideology represents a “symbolic glue” among the opposite ends of the political spectrum by promoting a common ideological background despite the different motivations that facilitate a process of cross-pollination.

To conclude, extremist and radical groups also exploit gender politics and feminism to re-create a “conflict” between grassroot and mainstream democratic movements, vilify democratic mobilisation and the (liberal) democratic order at large, and push anti-establishment messages.

D4.4 tried to reply to the following research questions:

  • What is the role of the gender dimension in the communication and propaganda of extremist and radical groups today?
  • How do extremist and radical groups see the gender dimension today? What sets their approach apart from previous dynamics?
  • Which specific aspects of the gender dimension are exploited by extremist communication and propaganda?
    1. What are the main gender-related narratives employed, and what is their evolution over time?
    2. How do extremist communication and propaganda frame roles within the group and in the wider society?
    3. What are the main channels used for spreading gender-related communication and propaganda?
  • What are the main gender-related aspects that emerge across different types of extremism, if any?

The report is composed of two sections. The first one presents four case studies on:

  • online communities that identify themselves as Incel;
  • a comparison between the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) party and the Chega party, both from the far right, represented in parliaments in Romania and Portugal respectively;
  • the now outlawed Golden Dawn far-right party in Greece;
  • the anarchist scene in Italy, one of the European countries where this ideology is most widespread (along with Spain and Greece).

The second section, instead, discusses the most relevant dynamics and trends for an analysis of the communication and propaganda strategies of extremist and radical groups based on gender.

In order to make the summary of the results more readable for users, a short PowerPoint Presentation is provided below:

AUTHOR: Davide Lauretta (EFD)