The ARMOUR methodology is based on a two-fold assumption: countering radicalization in Europe can be done successfully by addressing root causes through education and building strong partnerships at the local level aimed at mobilizing local communities.
The project is focused on three main areas:
(a) Individual capacity building in the face of adverse conditions;
(b) Community empowerment and resilience to social polarization, radicalization and violent extremism; and
(c) Moderate and proportionate response of the governmental and security institutions against provocations and latent conflicts.
7 experimental labs will be created, where special attention is placed on developing and testing individual capacity building and social skills of support. The labs represent a safe place where participants can experience alternative ways of responding to push and pull factors of social polarisation and extremism. The main focus shall be placed on internalizing and further facilitating learning by others of practical, hands-on strategies and personal skills of conflict resolution, peace building, critical thinking, anger management, proportionate response, etc.
Each lab will accommodate 14-21 participants with different background (vulnerable community members, civil society, teachers, social assistants, psychologists, law enforcement and security experts) being those categories represented in a proportional ratio. Each lab will have a duration of 8 hours, comprising multiple sessions dedicated to different methodologies and instruments. Each lab session is followed by individual practice and active feedback collection transmitted to the facilitators (2 facilitators/lab). The labs will be cascaded in 7 countries (Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain, Romania, Austria and the Netherlands), therefore giving project team the opportunity to improve the model according to findings from previous laboratories.
The experimental labs will count on a minimum of 100 participants with an expected objective of 150 across 7 countries, by the project partners´ commitment to increase this number as much as possible.
The experimental model will then be promoted through an onsite and online campaign (using Facebook and Twitter) thus providing effective alternative narratives of self-value and community building. The main objectives of this interdisciplinary approach, consolidated through prior desk literature review, expert consultation, individual interviews and focus groups with first line practitioners will thus be aimed to:
Bring about behaviour change and dissuade vulnerable groups from embracing terrorism and violent extremism;
Grow civic engagement and take active stance in democratic processes;
Halt radicalization and recruitment processes;
Enhance (digital) resilience and critical thinking.
For more details, please check Design & structure Section.