VOX-Pol Summer School 2016: Topics in Violent Online Political Extremism

Organized by the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) at the Central European University (CEU) and VOX-Pol Network of Excellence

Course Director(s): 

Eva Bognar  (Center for Media, Data and Society at SPP of CEU, Budapest, Hungary)

Maura Conway (School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland)

Kate Coyer (Center for Media, Data and Society at SPP of CEU, Budapest, Hungary)

Lisa McInerney (School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland)

Course Coordinator:

Dumitrita Holdis (Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary)

This week-long VOX-Pol summer course is designed to provide PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, advanced MA students, civil society, policymakers and advocates, industry representatives, security professionals, journalists, and others with an introduction to the role of the internet in contemporary violent political extremism(s), including the ethics and practices of monitoring violent extremist content;  impacts on freedom of expression and privacy online; and how to research and contribute to ensuing policy debates.

The course will be run with a mix-method teaching style and includes lectures, discussion, small group work, policy lab and hands-on practicum, as well as a field trip to the Open Society Archives. Sessions will be led by experts from across fields, including research, policy making, internet industries, and civil society.

Public Lecture by EFF’s Jillian York

Jillian C. York is the Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s Director for International Freedom of Expression. Her work encompasses a broad range of topics, from digital security to the privatization of censorship. At EFF, she works on a number of projects, including Surveillance Self-Defense, Digital Citizen, and OnlineCensorship.org.

Jillian’s writing has been featured in Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and The New York Times, among others. Prior to joining EFF, Jillian worked at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where she researched Internet censorship.

Confirmed Summer School Faculty:

Cristina Archetti
Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway

Manuela Caiani
Department of Political Science, Webster Vienna Private University, Austria

Lina Dencik
Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, UK

Ross Frenett
Moonshot CVE, London, UK

Paul Gill
Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London, UK

Nick Kaderbhai
International Centre For The Study Of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Department of War Studies, King’s College London, UK

Mina al-Lami
BBC Monitoring, UK

Timothy Libert
Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, USA

Topics to be covered may include, but are not limited to:

  • State security and online privacy in the wake of recent attacks
  • The internet and radicalization and recruitment into violent political extremist and terrorist groups
  • Balancing security, privacy, and freedom of expression online in responding to violent political extremism and terrorism
  • The content and functioning of violent political extremist online forums
  • Ethical issues surrounding monitoring of violent political extremist content online
  • The role of video in violent political extremism online
  • Women/gender, violent political extremism, and online media
  • Role of internet and social media companies in responding to violent political extremism online, including take-down requests, blocking, surveillance and filtering of extremist content
  • Case studies of particular violent political extremist group’s use of digital media, including Jihadis, right wing extremists and others
  • Case studies of violent political extremism on specific social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  • Online initiatives to counter violent extremism
  • Critical responses to research on, reporting of, and governmental responses to the conjunction of violent political extremism and the Internet
  • Research methods for studying violent online political extremism


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