Skip to main content

In an era where political discourse often crosses into the territories of extremism and misinformation, the Horizon Europe OppAttune project emerges as a critical initiative. Our policy toolkit delves into how societies can maintain the delicate balance between upholding human rights and implementing necessary regulatory measures. We aim to illuminate a broad range of examples of how rights claims can contribute to polarization and how regulatory mechanisms may help alleviate such polarization. We address issues such as the ideological battles where political extremists undermine the rights of others while fiercely guarding their own liberties. This exploration is crucial to the understanding of how democratic societies can foster a culture of constructive opposition and free expression without letting dialogue deteriorate into destructive rhetoric.

We also explore new conceptual venues, such as contextual capacity, rights-claim public and everyday-extremism. Contextual capacity refers to the amount of potential a given context has to be transformed by policy. It involves understanding the contextual factors that impact the effectiveness of regulatory measures and their ability to attune everyday extremism. A rights-claim public (RCP) is a group that is formed around a specific set of rights claims. These groups may have long-standing claims or may have developed around a specific policy issue.

A Dual-Structured Toolkit

Our toolkit [available in the Autumn], divided into two deliverables, designed to complement one another, blends theoretical insights with practical applications, thus offering a vital resource for anyone committed to enhancing the resilience of democratic societies against the tides of extremism. Part I (deliverable 2.1) focuses on establishing a framework for understanding everyday-extremism and its impact on political dialogue. Part II (deliverable 2.2) builds on this foundation by applying the Regulatory Rights Prism (RRP) to analyze sixteen case studies. These cases demonstrate the complex interplay between human rights claims and the regulatory frameworks that support democratic stability. A notable example is the unimpeded way in which corporations and governments accumulate power by leveraging personal data (Cofone, 2023).

Introducing the Regulatory Rights Prism (RRP)

One of the core contributions of Workpackage 2 is the development of the Regulatory Rights Prism. This framework incorporates three key dimensions: context, belonging, and outcome – each divided into four modes to aid in diagnostic analysis. This structure enables policymakers, academics, and practitioners to assess and respond to the nuances of extremist narratives effectively. By considering both national and transnational influences, as well as historical, social, and cultural factors, the RRP offers a comprehensive tool for navigating the challenges posed by political extremism.

Impact and Application

Professor Robin A. Harper, York College (City University of New York) gave a keynote address in Berlin at the closing conference (April 2024) of a sister Horizon project D.Rad: De-radicalisation in Europe and Beyond “Deradicalisation, Conflict and the Value of Social Inclusion”. Harper delved into the concept of belonging, describing it as a blend of being and longing, rooted in individuals’ perception of connection and acceptance within a group. Belonging, while fundamental to human needs, also serves as a boundary marker between insiders and outsiders in political and cultural contexts. Thus further deepening our understanding of the indispensability of the notion in understanding, and dealing with, oppositional extremism. She concluded with an emphasis on the need for inclusive narratives that acknowledge historical wrongs and foster belonging for all members of society.

Adding belonging to a discussion on rights and regulations, enriches the understanding and applicability of our toolkit, allowing it to serve not only as a scholarly resource but also as a practical guide for those on the front lines of policy-making and community engagement. It equips users with the knowledge to foster dialogue, enhance policy effectiveness, and identify new strategies for mitigating the risks associated with extremist ideologies – a valuable blueprint for constructing pathways that promote healthy, democratic opposition.

We are currently hard at work with our Iraqi partners at the Hammurabi Human Rights (HHR) Organization, that will result in two additional cases: the first one on ways in which the concept of gender is misused and even weaponized, and the second on all forms of violence against women currently on the rise in Iraq (as per the HHR annual report for the year 2023 on the state of human rights in Iraq).

Our final news before a well-deserved summer break is our upcoming webpage (deliverable 2.3) which will present the toolkit and prism in exciting new ways, making them interactive and user-friendly.

Stay tuned !



Allen, A., Kern, M. L., Rozek, C. S., McInereney, D., & Slavich, G. M. (2021). Belonging: A Review of Conceptual Issues, an Integrative Framework, and Directions for Future Research. Australian Journal of Psychology, 73(1), 87.

Cofone, Ignacio (2023), The Privacy Fallacy: Harm and Power in the Information Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Da Silva, R., Fernández-Navarro, P., Gonçalves, M. M., Rosa, C., & Silva, J. (2021). Disengagement from political violence and deradicalization: A narrative-dialogical perspective. In Narrative, Political Violence and Social Change (pp. 17-40). Routledge.
Dodes, L., & Dodes, Z. (2015). The sober truth: Debunking the bad science behind 12-step programs and the rehab industry. Beacon Press.

Ellefsen, R., Jämte, J., & Sjøen, M. M. (2023). Key dilemmas in the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism. The Journal for Deradicalization, (34), 115-155.

Harper, R. A. (2024) Being. Longing. And Deradicalisation. [Keynote Address]. Closing Conference D.Rad: De-Radicalisation in Europe and Beyond, “Deradicalisation, Conflict and the Value of Social Inclusion” Berlin, Germany, March 21-23 (Horizon 2020 Funded Project), March 22.

Leave a Reply

Translate »
Skip to content