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International Conference „Radicalization of Youth: Causes and Prevention“

Conference – Symposium - Forum

12-14 March 2019 | Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Main goal of the conference is to examine and discuss the key factors which trigger and fuel violent radicalisation and extremism of youth.


Rising sympathy of young people towards radical groups as well as obtrusive presence of intolerance in digital space becomes more and more disturbing especially in the context of current political discourse on migration, social rights or gender equality. At the same time we are witnessing that the values of human rights, tolerance and democracy are being challenged not only by young people but across our societies and even by public representatives and authorities.

Youth work is often challenged by the requirement to act preventively against the phenomenon and tries to find out what the key factors are and what the response should be. Public institutions on national, European and Global level have devoted their energy and resources into research of the causes of radicalization, preventive programmes, policy strategies and capacity building programmes for practitioners in youth work and education to prevent youngsters from being reached by violent extremist, paramilitary or terrorist groups.

It is understandable that for such a complex phenomenon we cannot expect a single theory on what the causes and key factors are or how should we approach it. Organisers of the conference believe that there is already a huge experience to be shared by various stakeholders which needs to be reflected, evaluated or even confronted and questioned in open discussion. The conference aims to offer the platform to bring together diverse perspectives, opportunity to share the experience and search for further answers on how we could empower young people through youth work.

The conference aims to:

Present and discuss the findings of the latest research analyses which were conducted on the topic of radicalization, violent extremism and values of young people.

Share experience from youth work practice – good practice, problems and challenges from the field work.

Discuss the current challenges and strategies of youth and education policy.

Bring together the experts, researchers, youth workers and policy makers to advance a dialogue and create synergies   


The programme of the conference will be structured around the following strands:

I. Research and Analysis:

To build the evidence based policies on national and international level we need to reflect on what answers does the research offer us. The same goes for the youth work in practice – to decide for the specific approach and develop effective strategies we need to understand the causes, trigger factors of radicalization and needs of young people at risk.

Perspectives on the concepts of extremism and radicalization: What do we understand by the very terms: violent extremism and radicalization? How flexible these terms became and in what context are they helpful for practice of youth work?

Radical youth in history: It might be argued that youth has always been and should be radical. How can we identify when the radical views uplift the society and when do they endanger it? How did the problem of violent extremism and radicalization evolved in the context of national and international politics? What lessons did/could we learn from history?

Causes and key factors of radicalization of youth: In order to strengthen preventive role of youth work, we need to understand what leads young people to identify with violent extremist and radical groups. What are the key factors influencing their choices, values and identities? What recommendations could research offer to youth policy makers and youth workers?

Current issues and future development: The radicalization of young people is just one part of more complex social reality. How does the social dynamics and current political developments influence young people in the context of radicalization? What are the challenges, which arise from the current political situation?

II. Youth Work:

Practitioners from the field of youth work have already taken the challenge of preventive work. There are already examples of good practice to be shared and lessons learned to be discussed. The aim of the conference is to provide an opportunity to participants to experience various methods, share the results of their projects and inspire each other through interactive workshops.

Prevention as a multi-stakeholders´ cooperation: How could we strengthen the cooperation of all stakeholders in community? What are the key elements and challenges we need to take into account?

Preventive strategies and methods in youth work: There are various methods and activities available for youth workers to develop tolerance, participation, discussion and conflict resolution. How can we work with young people who are at risk of being radicalized? How to communicate, leave the doors open for a dialogue and keep the safe environment at the same time?

Needs of youth and key competences for resilience: There are several concepts offering complex set of competences which we can work with (e.g. competences for democratic culture, global competences, intercultural competences). Do we understand them as complementary? How do we support them in everyday youth work? Is it possible to list the competences young people need to become resilient towards violent extremism?

III. Youth Policy

Youth policy makers stand in front of the task to develop the strategies of prevention and initiate and support the tools of their implementation. Prevention of extremism is not the only task of youth work and its prioritization depends on the national contexts. Moreover, the youth policy doesn´t evolve in its own reality but needs to be approached from the multi-sectorial cooperation.

The role of youth work in de-radicalization and primary prevention: What approaches can we identify in prioritization of prevention as a role of youth work and to what extent do the professionals from the field of youth policy reach an agreement? What can we expect from the upcoming European Youth Strategy? What other international policy frameworks and platforms support common approach and cooperation?

From strategies to youth clubs: How do we ensure the evidence based policies and the dialogue between practitioners, youth and policy makers? Is the public sector supportive enough?



We invite all practitioners and experts working in the field of youth to contribute to the programme in one of the tree strands above and to share their practical and theoretical knowledge on the topics of the conference. Participants have an opportunity to present the findings of their research, results of their projects, to share their practical experience, discuss the different perspectives and thus build the vision in the area of youth work in prevention of violent extremism and radicalization. 

Number of expected participants: 60 – 100

Target group:

  • researchers in the field of youth, youth policy, non-formal and formal education,
  • social policy, global security and other field relevant to analyze the issue of radicalization,
  • youth workers, social workers, community workers, educators,  
  • policy makers and advisors,
  • representatives of public institutions from relevant sectors,
  • representatives of non-governmental organizations active in the field of youth work, prevention of radicalization and violent extremism, human rights education and education for democratic citizenship


The conference aims to provide an opportunity for various stakeholders to achieve fruitful discussion based on experience from the field of research, youth work and youth policy. Organizers will therefore consider balance regarding geographical representation, variability of stakeholders and participation format in the selection process.

Working language:

Plenary sessions: English and Slovak; Simultaneous translation will be provided during plenary sessions

Workshops: English

Your active participation and contribution to the context of the conference is highly appreciated and welcomed.



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Training overview


This activity has already happened!

This Conference – Symposium - Forum is

for 60-100 participants

from Erasmus+ Youth Programme countries

and recommended for

Youth workers, Trainers, Youth leaders, Youth policy makers, Youth coaches, Youth researchers, social workers, community workers, educators, representatives of public institutions from relevant sectors, representatives of non-governmental organizations active in the field of youth work, prevention of radicalization and violent extremism

Working language(s):



IUVENTA- Slovak Youth Institute, Slovak National Agency of the Erasmus+ Programme Youth and Sport (National Agency)

Contact for questions:

Michaela Ujházyová


Phone: +421 907 993 233

Before applying please contact the NA of your residence country to check if it is involved in this concrete project and committed to cover travel costs. NB! Learn about possible participation fee and other relevant rules.


Participation fee

This project is financed by the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme. Being selected for this course, all costs (accommodation, travel, visa, etc.) relevant to participation in the course will be covered by the NAs involved in this project - except a participation fee which varies from country to country. Please contact your Erasmus+: Youth in Action NA to learn more about the financial details, and how to arrange the booking of your travel tickets and the reimbursement of your travel expenses.

Accommodation and food

The hosting National Agency of this offer will organise the accommodation and covers the costs for accommodation and food.

Travel reimbursement

Your sending National Agency will support your travel costs. After being selected, please contact your NA to learn more about how to arrange the booking of your travel tickets and the reimbursement of your travel expenses.

Participants are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate from the organiser, for recognition of their competence development during the activity. Read more about Youthpass:

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