Promotionsprogramm "Transformationsprozesse in Europäischen Gesellschaften"

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Leonie Thal

Leonie Thal, M. A.

3rd year


Institute of European Ethnology
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich

Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9633

Further Information

Dissertation Project

„How to prevent radicalisation – narratives, figures and logics in the policy of preventing Islamist radicalisation of adolescents in Germany“

In December 2016, Anis Amri drove a van into the Christmas market at Breitscheidtplatz in Berlin and killed 12 people. Investigations revealed that security agencies had already listed him as a so-called “Gefährder” - a person that might be potentially dangerous. As after every terrorist attack in western Europe, the debate in the aftermath is dominated by a central question: at which point did security politics and agencies fail to prevent this incident? Or: How could this person become radicalised without anyone noticing? In short: Could this incident have been avoided?
This dissertation project explores the question of how the German government tries to prevent the Islamist radicalisation of adolescents in Germany. The figures, narratives and logics in the discourse about the process of radicalisation and its prevention are of special interest. The imperative of preventing risks and the policies of prevention resulting from it – especially in relation to security policy – will be analysed critically as well.
A triangulation of different approaches and methods, particularly an “Anthropology of Policy” and an ethnographic research in governmental projects concerning the prevention of radicalisation, makes it possible to analyse the perspectives of different actors and the negotiation processes on the micro-level on the one hand, and the underlying mechanisms, argumentations and logics of the political and societal discourse on the macro-level on the other hand.
The subject of this dissertation project takes current aspects of migration- and security policies into account and discusses questions that are highly relevant also in the examination of international terrorism as for the question of the relation between religious beliefs and (political) violence.
This critical analysis of the policy of preventing Islamist radicalisation aims to gain knowledge about the underlying argumentations and logics. This is necessary to be able to point out and problematize connections and implicitness that might be inherent in the discourse, which allows conclusions to be drawn to contemporary narratives, images and ideas (of for example Islam, terrorism, migration or security) that are inherent as well as currently negotiated in politics and society – and finally contribute to a better understanding and a more reflected dealing with the processes of radicalisation.


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Johannes Moser