Skip to main content

On the 13th and 14th February 2024, the members of work package six (WP6) met at the Open University’s Walton Hall Campus in Milton Keynes. The two-day gathering promised to be an engaging period of collaboration and dissemination. The members of work package six came together the evening prior to the two-day gathering to enjoy a meal and catch-up. Even the UK’s grey slate sky and inhospitable rain could not dimmish our spirits as we welcomed colleagues from both Panteion and University of Malta.  The sleek and modern campus library meeting room was our home for the knowledge exchange event co-hosted with the Open University’s Culture and Social Psychology (CUSP) research strand.

Dr Sandra Obradović expertly chaired the day’s events which began with an insightful introduction to everyday extremism by OppAttune’s Scientific Coordinator, Professor Kesi Mahendran. The focus here being on exploring what, as a consortium, we mean by the term ‘everyday extremism’ and its potential as an explanatory concept. The first presentation of the event was by Open University Professor Eleni Andreouli who offered insights into the collective thinking from WP5 on developing a framework for understanding the emergence of opposition drivers. Professor Xenia Chryssochoou, of Panteion, discussed the theory of two political extremes and the impact on democratic participation. A pleasingly old-fashioned lunch voucher was gladly received and spent by all at the HUB Café on campus. Those moments that online meetings simply cannot replicate were enacted to the full, i.e.: exchanging ideas about the world whilst sharing good food.

The post-session began engagingly with Panteion’s Dr Antonis Demakis talking on how to better understand who and why the public engage in conspiracy theories. Open University PhD researcher Evangelia Vergouli considered the potential avenues for scientific endeavour for her dialogical-based research on the influence of political actors on Citizens’ voting behaviour. Stimulating idea sharing ensued as Evangelia then invited contributions as to how certain elements of her study could be developed going forward. After such thought-provoking discourse, the afternoon coffee break was well-earned and kept the engine running as we moved into late afternoon. The final presentation by WP6 colleague was Professor Gordon Sammut’s enlightening description of the process for developing a scale which measures everyday extremism. The event concluded with a final thirty minutes of ideas and contributions from attendees as to how everyday extremism should be understood and its implications for the project.

Day two was a morning/early afternoon session among WP6 (Attuning Public Dialogue & Narratives) colleagues to reflect on yesterday’s events and discuss deliverable 6.1.  Specifically, which items, of those already included, should be used in the WiDE Angle survey. The survey is intended to be disseminated across 15 countries and designed to measure Worldviews, Identification, Disaffection, and Extremism to identify the psychological drivers of everyday extremism. Therefore, an intense period of discussion on issues related to the survey meant the morning moved quickly into afternoon. Goodbyes were then exchanged secure in the knowledge that a stimulating exchange of discussion and debate had moved us a step closer to reaching our goals for the work package.

Leave a Reply

Translate »
Skip to content