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A former right-wing extremist in school-based prevention work: Research findings from Germany


journal-for-deradicalization_blog-235x350Journal abstract

This paper summarizes the findings of a pioneer process and impact evaluation of a school-based Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) measure conducted by a former right-wing extremist. The goal of the primary prevention measure was, inter alia, to attain positive effects on extreme right-wing attitudes and delinquent behavior among juveniles. This goal was evaluated using an impact assessment with a post intervention screening after approximately half a year. The sample comprised 564 pupils from 50 school classes, which were randomly assigned to a treatment and a control group. Additionally, we gained further data on the prevention measure using participant observations and by surveying the participating pupils. This is the first empirical study to evaluate a school-based PVE measure conducted by a former in such a manner. The results of the study do not suggest that the prevention measure influenced right-wing extremist attitudes and delinquency. The predominantly positive responses of the pupils suggest that this approach can be a tool to facilitate access to pupils in a period of life where adults have difficulties with accessing juveniles. However, the pupils’ statements also highlight critical aspects, which signify that some contents and their illustration do not seem to be adequate for this target group.

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