The findings of the first research phase of the YEIP project have been presented on January 22th 2018, during the first international conference of the project, which took place in Modena, Italy. At this occasion, the first book of the project has been launched: “Young, marginalised but not radicalized: A comparative study of positive approaches to youth radicalization”.
This book not only presents the national findings in native languages, but also a comparative study and executive summaries in English.
A chapter on Portugal can be found, authored by consultants of INOVA+, which presents an overview of the policies, programmes and actors of the prevention of the youth radicalization in the country.
The study states that it doesn’t exist today a consolidated policy to prevent youth radicalization, at national level, neither in schools nor in the online context.
Though, it is notable that the educative community demonstrates interest and sensibility for new positive and innovative approaches. This is why we affirm that is has room in Portugal to implement a new preventive model for young people at risk, based on the positive psychology and the Good Lives Model.
The present study, developed in the framework of the project YEIP (Youth Empowerment Innovation Project), intends to give an overview, about policies, programmes, and stakeholders related to the prevention of youth radicalization in Portugal. This report constitutes the first step of this ambitious 36-month project, involving organizations from seven countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and UK), which intends to produce an innovative model to tackle youth radicalization, based on the positive psychology.
A reflection on the concept of radicalization and its meaning at national level introduces the study. The common assumption of this concept in Europe doesn´t seem to be so relevant in the actual Portuguese context.
The mapping of the legal framework for preventing youth radicalization, including laws, decrees and ministerial resolutions, and of the programmes, initiatives and projects implemented at national level, focused in school and online environments, allowed to reflect on the national state-of-art, in terms of prevention of radicalization of youth and openness to the implementation of positive psychology-based innovative approaches.
The analysis of the panorama was clear, in Portugal there isn’t a harmonized and national policy, preventing youth radicalization and inspired in positive psychology approaches, neither in schools, neither online.
The fact that the country does not deal directly with terrorist threats, as well as the fact that the most problematic schools are endowed with a high level of autonomy when structuring prevention (and reaction) measures to these problems, are some of the factors that can explain this current scenario. However, although there is no uniform national plan with preventive measures, it is clear that there is a high interest and sensitivity of the educational community towards positive psychology. Projects in schools, which are still embryonic and emerging, have already proved the relevance of developing this type of initiatives in Portugal.
Keywords: prevention, radicalization, violence, Youth, schools, positive psychology.
For more information on the project, please contact Aurélie Delater: (firstname.lastname@example.org).