Pedagogical engagement with ideological and political radicalism among young people has so far mainly focused on extreme-right manifestations. Recently however, policy-makers and specialists working in the field have also paid more attention to other forms of radicalism and to the prevention measures which these require:

One aspect of the problem is a quantitative increase, and qualitative shift, in offences committed under the influence of radical leftist tendencies and campaigning groups. There has been much discussion as to whether such offences should be classified as "extreme-left" acts. Another aspect is the increased attention paid to ideologies and activities classified under "Islamist extremism". This has happened in the context of concern about terror attacks, but also of a broader debate about the compatibility of "Islam" and the "Western model of society".

Previously, the interests of security policy have dominated the discussion. Recently however, the focus has shifted to the potential for pedagogical prevention, especially in working with young people. A particular challenge in this respect – unlike in the case of right-wing extremism – is the lack of knowledge about these phenomena, which youth policies and pedagogical work could refer to. Similarly, few practitioners have garnered experience with pedagogical tools and activities to combat such ideologies, or to inoculate young people against them. Given this background, it is no surprise that ideas on how problems should be detected and addressed, and on how they should be tackled, are highly contested in current debates.


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