Project Network PANDORA

Political and religious radicalization have become everyday phenomena and permanent topics in media, politics and society. Still, not much is known about the favorable conditions that might enable radicalization processes. This particularly applies to the role of internet-based structures of communication and information. The project network “Propaganda, Mobilization and Radicalization in the virtual and real World. Causes, Processes and Counter-Strategies in the Context of the Asylum and Refugee Debate" (short: PANDORA) aims to close this research gap. With the participation of PRIF, the project network has been launched in March 2017 and is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project has been set up for the duration of three years.

The project group PANDORA particularly examines discourses in social media and asks, which mobilization and radicalization effects these generate in the real world. Discourses and mobilization strategies on the Internet are systematically analyzed and mapped. In addition, milieus studies are carried out at different locations to identify the conditions which promote or prevent radicalization processes via Internet communication. The goal is to gain insights into the interaction between the virtual and real world as well as into radicalization processes. At the same time, it shall be examined to what extent discourses and propaganda of the right and Salafist spectrum resemble each other.

Under the lead of Dr Julian Junk and Prof Christopher Daase the PRIF team, including Hande Abay Gaspar and Manjana Sold, will be responsible for the research on radicalization dynamics in the Salafist field and for issues of knowledge transfer. In the empirical part, the PRIF subproject examines how and whether Salafist groups use Islamophobic discourses. It shall be analyzed how they are reflected in the virtual and in the real world and which effects they have on radicalization processes. Furthermore, the PRIF team is responsible for the web-based transfer of knowledge of the association, which consists, among other things, in the creation of a comprehensive project website ( and the production of information films. The subproject is located in Research Department III. It builds on the preparatory work of the PRIF team in the BMBF-funded research group "Salafism in Germany".

Research network:

  • Peace Research Insitute Frankfurt (PRIF/HSFK)
  • Institut für Friedens­forschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg (IFSH)
  • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Abteilung Rechts­wissenschaften (JGU)
  • Munich Innovation Labs UG
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg (UMR), Institut für Politik­wissenschaft (Coordinator)
  • Technische Universität Berlin, Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG)
Zum Verhältnis von Online- und Offline-Radikalisierung: Beobachtungen aus der Forschung zu salafistischem Dschihadismus | 2018

Abay Gaspar, Hande/Sold, Manjana/Junk, Julian (2018): Zum Verhältnis von Online- und Offline-Radikalisierung: Beobachtungen aus der Forschung zu salafistischem Dschihadismus, in: Demokratie gegen Menschenfeindlichkeit, 3:2, 26-38,, DOI: 9783734407628.

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Was ist Radikalisierung? Präzisierungen eines umstrittenen Begriffs | 2018

Abay Gaspar, Hande/Daase, Christopher/Deitelhoff, Nicole/Junk, Julian/Sold, Manjana (2018): Was ist Radikalisierung? Präzisierungen eines umstrittenen Begriffs, PRIF Report 5/2018, Frankfurt/M.

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Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)