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VIRTUAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR RESEARCH IN
VIOLENT ONLINE POLITICAL EXTREMISM

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7)-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of Violent Online Political Extremism and responses to it.

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THE AMOUNT OF ONLINE CONTENT PROMOTING VIOLENT POLITICS IS INCREASING ALL THE TIME AND IS NOT LIMITED TO PURVEYORS OF ANY ONE
POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

BACKGROUND

The majority of research into Violent Online Political Extremism produced to date has focused on the online practices of violent jihadis. This is unsurprising given that jihadis have significantly grown their online presence since 9/11. Increasing numbers of individuals and groups that advocate violent jihad are known to be using the Internet extensively. Jihadis are not alone amongst violent political extremists in recognising the power of the Net.

COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH, ANALYSIS, DEBATE, AND CRITIQUE OF TOPICS IN AND ISSUES SURROUNDING
VIOLENT ONLINE POLITICAL EXTREMISM

OUR OBJECTIVES

VOX-Pol’s purpose is establishment of a robust partnering, research, training, and network that has as its core function comprehensive research, analysis, debate, and critique of topics in and issues surrounding Violent Online Political Extremism.

PARTNERS

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Dublin City University

Located just north of Dublin city, Dublin City University (DCU) is a young, dynamic, and ambitious university with a distinctive mission to transform lives and societies through education, research, and innovation. Ranked one of the ‘Top 50 Under 50’ universities worldwide, DCU delivers more than 200 programmes to over 12,000 students across four faculties: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Health, Engineering and Computing and DCU Business School. The School of Law and Government in DCU is renowned for its undergraduate and graduate International Relations programme, with a strong academic team specialising in a variety of subjects ranging from law, development, and conflict resolution to gender relations, electoral politics, and violent political extremism and terrorism. The School is a contributor to DCU’s Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction (IICRR), which works with key civil society partners and government to make its research more accessible to scholars and practitioners alike.

King’s College London

King’s College London (KCL) is among the world’s 20 leading universities and is one of the oldest in England (estbd.1829). Located at the heart of London, it is a multi-faculty, research-led university with nearly 26,000 students and over 7,000 staff. Over 10,000 students are postgraduates from more than 140 countries. KCL is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society, both in the UK and internationally. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at KCL’s Department of War Studies produces high quality rigorous research on radicalisation and political violence with the aim to educate the public and help policymakers and practitioners find more intelligent solutions in dealing with these issues. In addition to research, ICSR facilitates dialogue, and nurtures leadership through fellowships.

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University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the world’s leading universities. It teaches and conducts research across the natural, medical, and social sciences and humanities. The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is a department in the University’s Social Science Division. Research in the Institute is arranged into four themes: governance and democracy, everyday life, the social shaping of technology, and science and learning. The Institute has 18 full-time academic staff, including political scientists, sociologists, economists, geographers and anthropologists. It also teaches c.20 doctoral students and 20+ MSc students. The OII is the only major department in a top-ranked international university to offer multi-disciplinary social science degree programmes focusing on the Internet. The Institute’s research projects are grounded in a determination to measure, understand and explain the Internet’s multi-faceted interactions.

University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA), established in 1632, is the third oldest university in the Netherlands. It is also the Netherland’s largest university by enrollment, and is one of the largest research universities in Europe with 29,783 students, 4,629 staff, and an endowment of €613.5 million. UvA’s Intelligent Systems Lab (ISLA) performs fundamental, applied and spin-off research. ISLA defines intelligence as observing and learning; observing the world by video, still pictures, signals and text and abstracting knowledge or decisions to act from these observations. Comprising of three research groups, ISLA has around 20 permanent staff members, a similar number of post-docs and engineers, and around 40 PhD students doing research on the theory, practice and implementation of multimedia information analysis. Their research portfolios include image and text search engines, learning from sensory data and indexing of large repositories. For text and visual media the Lab consistently achieves top-ranking performance in international benchmark competitions.

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NETHERLANDS ORGANISATION FOR APPLIED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (TNO) (Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek)

TNO was founded in 1932 as a government research laboratory with support from the Dutch government and industry. TNO’s scope is now much wider; it has developed into one of the leading Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) in Europe. TNO’s research and expertise make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, and to the economy and quality of life as a whole. TNO’s Mission and Strategy are to apply scientific knowledge with the aim of strengthening the innovative power of industry and government. TNO concentrates its activities on five themes: healthy living; industrial innovation; defence, security and safety; energy; and urbanisation. TNO has considerable expertise in the area of online radicalization; itis coordinator of the FP7 project SAFIRE and does research on radicalisation determinants for the Dutch Ministry of Interior. TNO also carries out research in the area of social media monitoring, such as its contribution to the FP7 project Virtuoso.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY

Budapest’s Central European University (CEU), established in 1991, has more than 1500 students from 100 countries and 300 faculty members from more than 30 countries. CEU’s Centre for Data, Media and Society (CMDS) is a hub for media and communication policy and research with a mission to advance media and communication scholarship in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The CMDS was initiated in 2004 through the joint efforts of CEU and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. CMDS produces scholarly and practice-oriented research addressing academic, policy, and civil society needs. CMDS research promotes pluralism, participation and the democratic potential of the media, and investigates the complexities of media and communication in transition. CMDS research specifically focuses on media and communication policy, online free expression, responses to hate speech, communicative rights, privacy, and civil society.

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INSTITUTE FOR PEACE RESEARCH AND SECURITY POLICY (IFSH) (Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg)

The Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) is an independent research institute at the University of Hamburg. The Institute’s name reflects the central hypothesis underlying its work: ensuring peace and providing security are two sides of the same coin—they cannot be pursued in isolation from each other. The Institute’s current research programme focuses on the trans-nationalisation of political violence. It is currently running a series of research projects in the area of terrorism and political violence, among which are TERAS-INDEX (Terrorism and Radicalisation – Indicators for the Impact of External Factors); Modeling Islamist and Right-wing Radicalisation in Europe; Subjecting Freedom: Analysing Arguments in Favour of Restricting Human and Civil Rights Under the Pretext of Combating Terrorism in the USA, EU, and Russia; and Piracy and Maritime Terrorism as a Challenge for Maritime Trade Security.

INDRAPRASTHA INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IIITD)

The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIITD) was created as a State University by an act of Delhi Government (The IIIT Delhi Act, 2007) empowering it to do research and development and to grant degrees. The mission of IIITD is to be a global centre of excellence in Information Technology education, training, and research. Its twin aims are: to carry out advanced research and development in information and software technologies in specific domain areas and to train and educate, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, engineers of outstanding ability who can become innovators and new product creators.

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