The EFRJ invites 6 members to join its newly established “Working Group on Violent Extremism & RJ”. This WG will focus on the question of how RJ can support the prevention of radicalisation and (violent) extremism, promote desistance from crime and include victims. The WG will particularly focus on developing a training in the subject.

Radicalisation is a phased process in which an individual or a group embraces a radical ideology that can lead to an increased willingness to condone or use violence for political goals. The radicalisation process is unique to each individual. Radicalism challenges the legitimacy of established norms and policies. It does not, in itself, lead to violence. Extremism is different from radicalism. Extremists accept violence as a legitimate means for obtaining political goals without necessarily exercising violence themselves. Terrorism or violent extremism encompasses violent behaviours that originate in an ideology shared at least by a limited group of individuals. Violent extremism includes the willingness as well as training, preparation and the actual conduct of violent acts against civilians. Terrorists show a severe disconnect from society and tend to devalue or dehumanise their victims.

The restorative justice approach has great potential in responding to radicalisation, extremism and violent extremism / terrorist acts, and the ensuing polarization. RJ focuses on forms of political and pre-political communication, exchange and encounters that are able to allow ‘difficult’ but respectful conversations in societal space.

The core team of the Working Group will be composed by 8 participants, including 1 Board member, 1 Staff member and 6 EFRJ members. If needed, the Working Group may invite experts outside the EFRJ membership for further consultation. The Working Group will:

  • produce a short document explaining the potential contribution of restorative justice in this domain;
  • work together to develop a specific training of the EFRJ;
  • support and encourage research on the potential application of RJ in radicalization and (violent) extremism;
  • come together to 1 day face-to-face meeting each year (first one planned on 26 November 2019 in Leuven, date to be confirmed – expenses covered by the EFRJ);
  • commit to regular virtual meetings (Skype) and exchange of emails;
  • be consulted on this topic by EFRJ staff and members.

The 6 EFRJ members will be selected based on their experience, profession, motivation to participate, and country representation (it will be not a first come- first served basis). This is a voluntary position, but the EFRJ will cover the expenses to participate in the meeting in Leuven (travel, food, accommodation).

APPLY NOW! The deadline for applications is 26 August 2019. You will be informed by the second week of September.

We invite interested members to send us a short bio (max 100 words) and a short motivation note, specifying own expertise on the topic and potential contribution to this working group (max 100 words). Please write “Working Group on Violent Extremism and RJ” in the subject line of your email.


Working Group on Violent Extremism and RJ

Chair: TBC
Secretariat representativeEmanuela Biffi, EFRJ communications & events officer
Board representative: Tim Chapman
Members: 6 TBC in September