EU RAN Conference: Freedom of Speech vs. Prevention of Radicalisation



In February 2018, Prof. Katrin Androschin participated in the conference "Free speech, extremism and prevention of radicalisation in Higher Education" of the RAN – Radicalisation Awareness Network of the European Commission.

The city of Manchester was chosen for the conference, as it was hit by a terror attack in 2017, the terrorist being a student at the local university. It became clear that universities must investigate their responsibility and role in preventing radicalisation among their students.

The participants of the conference – practitioners, policy makers and academics in the field of prevention and counterspeech from all over Europe – explored current policies and needs. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the topic, but also to empower and strengthen capacity to deal with radicalisation. Education professionals need to know, how to contribute to preventing and countering extremism. At the same time, they have to guarantee, that universities will not compromise their core values, among them free speech. The result of the conference is a paper with recommendations for the European Commission on how to find the right balance between the prevention of radicalisation and the guarantee to keep universities as places for open exchange and free expression.

M.A. Strategic Design