DCU receives €5m to head international research into online political extremism

By Aoife Mullen
News Editor

DCU is to lead an international research project into violent online political extremism.

The project, called VOX-Pol, received €5.1 million in European grant funding and will explore the affects of different forms of extremism and responses to it.

The School of Law and Government’s Dr Maura Conway, who specialises in terrorism and the internet, will lead a group of international researchers that will study the internet activities of violent jihadists, national separatists and extreme right groups.

The findings of the project will be used to ensure EU policies targeting online extremism “are based on concrete evidence, experience and knowledge of online extremism, thus increasing their likelihood of success.”

It is hoped the project will lead to the “development of a multi-disciplinary Virtual Centre of Excellence for Research in Violent Online Political Extremism”.

Dr Conway said, “Through their use of the Internet, contemporary violent political extremists work to reach a much wider audience than they previously had access to.” She said the project will bring researchers together “to collectively tackle some of the major under explored topics arising out of the intersection of violent political extremism and the Internet.”

Universities and institutions in England, the US, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and India will also be involved in the project.

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