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About Rhizome Against Polarization

The RaP project

Rhizome against Polarization (RaP abbreviated) aims to prevent polarization and radicalization in three European countries (Austria, Italy and Spain) through primary preventive measures such as promoting social and emotional competence.
In botany, the word “rhizome” is a root system that grows below the surface or just above the ground. Using a participatory method, practical experts such as teachers, youth and social workers, judicial officers as well as public institutions and political parties are provided with instruments to prevent polarization, radicalization and, as a result, extremism. The resistance of young people to extremist influences needs to be strengthened.

The relationship between polarization and radicalization is understood as a process. While polarization refers to the concept of adversaries (“we” and “them”), radicalization refers to political, social and religious issues. Both can lead to hostility, alienation and intolerance when radicalism turns into a form of extremism. Recently, violent extremism has become increasingly evident in Europe. Racism, Islamophobia and right-wing extremist ideologies are institutionally represented. Taking this situation into account, the RAP project will collect best practices in order to promote the establishment and development of practical methods and their dissemination and application at European level.

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