D10.1 Country Report | May 2023
Authors: Volodymyr Ishchenko, Ignacio Sar Chávez – Freie Universität Berlin
This report provides an analysis of three civic education programs in Germany aimed at deradicalization. The programs employ participatory methods, treating participants as active subjects of civic education and deradicalization, with a focus on fostering tolerance, critical thinking, and democratic engagement. The analyzed methods and projects include the Verantwortungspädagogik method used by the Violence Prevention Network, the narrative discussion groups project conducted by the “cultures interactive” nonprofit organization, and the “Stage free for respect” project by the “Miteinander” nonprofit organization.
The report presents a summary of the scope, target groups, implementing organizations, and supporting institutions for each program. It provides a detailed description of the methods or projects, their theoretical and practical assumptions, and implementation procedures. The report also discusses the lessons, achievements, and challenges encountered during the implementation, based on available documentation, publications, and evaluation reports.
Across all three cases, the programs encourage participants to critically reflect on their experiences and actively engage in challenging their own prejudices. They provide spaces for tolerant exchange of opinions and dialogue, even when radicalized views are expressed. Establishing transparent connections between facilitators and participants is a common challenge, particularly in school-based projects where students may be hesitant to engage. Training teaching staff and working with third party moderators can help overcome these challenges.
Roleplay and theatre-based activities, as seen in the Miteinander e.V.’s initiative, play a valuable role in the deradicalization process by allowing participants to explore different perspectives and empathize with others’ realities. Evaluation reports primarily rely on qualitative assessments, with limited statistical data. The fluctuating nature of student engagement makes it difficult to obtain comprehensive survey results. While prevention-oriented work is emphasized, political education also proves to be essential for exit counseling and supporting individuals in distancing themselves from radical spaces.
German NGOs like EXIT highlight the importance of removing individuals from radical spaces and encouraging critical reflection on their ideological backgrounds. Prevention workshops and roleplay activities can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals seeking deradicalization. Overall, the report emphasizes the significance of participatory practices in deradicalizing civic education in Germany, while also acknowledging the challenges and the need for tailored approaches in supporting individuals on their deradicalization journey.