The Radicalisation Awareness Network/ RAN – concept and reality
A policy essay on interagency cooperation to prevent violent extremism and support resilient European societies
When asked to write a “description and critical assessment of the RAN” for a major online Info-Service, Harald realized that all he could do was write an independent essay which coveys some of his and practitioner colleagues’ personal experiences and thoughts while helping to build up the RAN – where he served as steering group member and working group chair from 2011-2015 and has since continued to contribute to the network.
The observations and issues range from seeing the RAN as “the best thing of its kind”, the concept of a network of first-line practitioners, the RAN’s surprising lack of evaluation and the divergence from its original mission, the un-heard grievances of practitioners, the RAN’s mechanism of simulating bottom-up while functioning top-down, the mechanisms of “it-briefs-wellism” in programme design, the industrialisation of PVE and professional “NPO capitalists”, some supposed cases of “EU added damage” through the RAN’s ‘counter narrative’ strategies, its recruitment of young people, and its Islamism bias; and an alleged coup d’état by the ministries of Member States. The essay finally underlines the need to start afresh, restructure and build an ‘eye level’ interagency European framework for preventing the whole range of phenomena which pose risks to democracy and human rights.
Please add any comments about the essay or your own relevant experiences here below. Also please shortly indicate whether and to what extent you are what the essay has described as 'actual first-line practitioner', or from which other background your expertise in radicalisation and prevention issues comes from.