About VOX-Pol

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.

VOX-Pol’s interest is in exploring how violent extremist politics plays out ‘online,’ by which is generally meant the Internet. In terms of the type of politics being referred to, it is political activity situated at the outermost ends (i.e. the extremities) of any political spectrum. The centre of any such spectrum is generally held to be moderate; extremism may thus be conceived as the opposite, in either direction, of moderation. The problem with this approach however is that it is highly dependent on identification of the ‘centre’ (i.e. moderates), which in itself can be a highly subjective decision. The qualifier ‘violent’ is therefore employed here to describe VOX-Pol’s interest, which is in those that employ or advocate physical violence against other individuals and groups to forward their political objectives.

Blog, News & Events

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Blog
  • Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Online Content Moderation
    By Nick Feamster This post contains reflections from a Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society workshop on the use of artificial intelligence in governing communication online that took place earlier this year  Context In the United States...
  • TTP’s Online Women’s Magazine Has a Different Message for...
    By Mehwish Rani Daesh and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are two competitor militant organisations in Pakistan. Although, Daesh has no organisational presence in the country, small groups inspired by it have carried out...
  • Research Finds Differential Emphasis in Islamic State Propaganda
    VOX-Pol has released its latest report in the VOX-Pol publication series, titled A Tale Of Two Caliphates: Comparing the Islamic State's Internal and External Messaging Priorities, co-authored by Dr. Dounia Mahlouly and...
  • Fighting ISIS on Facebook - Breaking the ISIS Brand...
    By Anne Speckhard, Ardian Shajkovci & Lorand Bodo This blog post synopsises a study that attempted to intervene with over fifty English-speaking Facebook accounts endorsing, promoting, and following ISIS. Methodology and Research Design For this...
  • Counter-Terrorism Police Are Now Training with Virtual Terrorists
    By Jonathan Saunders What if you could save an airport from terrorists, escape insurgents in South Sudan, and rescue civilians in an underground station all in one morning? With modern technology, the...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop 5 - Focus Group on Future...
    Title Focus Group on Future Research Convener Dr. Dounia Mahlouly (ICSR) NB: Important Notes Workshop attendance is free but general conference registration is required. This workshop will run concurrently with other afternoon sessions. Workshop Descriptor This focus group will...
  • Now You See It, Now You Don’t? Moving Beyond...
    By Lorand Bodo On 25–26 April 2018, a major multinational digital content takedown operation was conducted against the Islamic State (IS). The operation targeted the major online media outlets directly associated with...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop Summaries
    VOX-Pol's post-conference workshops will take place in Amsterdam on 22 August 2018, following on from the third biennial conference which will take place at the University of Amsterdam on 20 – 21...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop 2 – Researching Violent Extremism, Terrorism,...
    Title Researching Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Ethics Issues Convener Prof. Maura Conway (Dublin City University) NB: Important Notes Workshop attendance is free but general conference registration is required. This workshop will run concurrently with other...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop 3 – Introduction To VOX-Pol Tools
    Title Introduction to VOX-Pol Tools Conveners Dr. Matti Pohjonen (SOAS) Prof. Padraig Cunningham (University College Dublin) NB: Important Notes Workshop attendance is free but general conference registration is required. This workshop will run concurrently with other afternoon sessions. Workshop...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop 4 - Social Network Analysis
    Title Social Network Analysis Convener Dr. Jonathan Bright (Oxford Internet Institute) NB: Important Notes Workshop attendance is free but general conference registration is required. This workshop will run concurrently with other afternoon sessions. Workshop Descriptor This workshop will build...
  • VOX-Pol Post-Conference Workshop 1 - Python for Social Scientists
    Title Python for Social Scientists Convener Prof. Padraig Cunningham (University College Dublin) NB: Important Notes Workshop attendance is free but general conference registration is required. This workshop will run concurrently with other morning sessions. Workshop Descriptor This workshop will...
  • VOX-Pol Researcher Presents at United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism...
    On 29 May, 2018, the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (UN CTC) held an open meeting with the support of the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) on the topic...
  • VOX-Pol Welcomes New Research Fellow J.M. Berger 
    We're delighted to welcome J.M. Berger on board as a VOX-Pol Research Fellow. We're also very pleased to announce that J.M. will launch his new book, Extremism (MIT Press), at a reception during our...
  • VOX-Pol Workshop ‘Inside the Black Box of "Terrorism...
    VOX-Pol is convening a two-day workshop entitled "Inside the Black Box of 'Terrorism Informatics": A Cost-benefit Analysis of Using Computational Techniques in Violent Online Political Extremism Research' at Dublin City University...
  • A Tribal Call to Arms: Propaganda and What PVE...
    By Alexander Ritzmann The Propaganda Process Is online propaganda really effective? How can it be countered? And what can practitioners of Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and policymakers learn from the research findings of other...
  • How GDPR Changes the Rules for Research
    By Gabe Maldoff The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect in the spring of 2018, replacing the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and imposing new obligations on organizations that process the...
  • Technology and Regulation Must Work in Concert to Combat...
    By Andre Oboler Online bullying, hate and incitement are on the rise, and new approaches are needed to tackle them. As the Australian Senate conducts hearings for its Inquiry into cyberbullying, it should...

VOX-Pol Publications

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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.

Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction

The Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction at Dublin City University, Ireland, brings together authoritative analysis of the Northern Ireland peace process with expertise on the international politics of regions in conflict and in post-conflict rebuilding from Kosovo to Kashmir and also on thematic issues such as terrorism on the internet, mediation, gender equality, and development-security linkages. We offer cutting edge taught programmes and work with key civil society partners and governments so that our evidence-based knowledge is both relevant and accessible to those involved in practice.

School of Law and Government

The School of Law and Government offers challenging and supportive taught programmes, which assist students in pursuing their personal goals. We are engaged in cutting edge research, published in the best academic journals. We are committed to a strong working relationship with government agencies, professional bodies, industry and civil society organisations interested in research and policy development.

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.

King’s College – International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation

ICSR’s mission is to bring together knowledge and leadership. Producing first class, rigorous research, our aim is to educate the public and help policymakers and practitioners find more intelligent solutions in dealing with radicalisation and political violence.

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.

Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute

OII research focuses on individual, collective and institutional behaviour on the internet. Now that digital connections are embedded in almost every aspect of everyday life, such research is crucial to understand the social, economic and political world.

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 radicalisation; it is 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.

Media & Network Services

Human Behaviour and Organisational Innovation

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.

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 Media, Data 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.

CEU – Centre for Media, Data and Society

The Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) at the School of Public Policy of CEU is a research center for the study of media, communication, and information policy and its impact on society and practice. CMDS produces scholarly and practice-oriented research addressing academic, policy and civil society needs, provides trainings and organizes workshops, lectures and conferences on current developments in the field, and CMDS researchers offer courses at CEU.

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.

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.

University College London (UCL)

University College London (UCL) was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of all races, classes and religions. Today, UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength and won the largest funding allocation from the UK research councils in 2013. The university also attracts the third highest number of academic citations per faculty in the UK, demonstrating the relevance and standards of its research. UCL’s Department of Security and Crime Science is the first university department in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime and other risks to personal and national security. It does this through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction and security enhancement. The department plays a pivotal role in bringing together politicians, scientists, designers and practitioners to examine patterns in crime and security threats and to find practical methods to disrupt these patterns. The department is widely recognised for its knowledge transfer and exploitation activities, and the impact that its research has had on real world crime problems.

UCL – Department of Security and Crime Science

From the start we have had a clear mission and a distinctive approach – crime science – to achieving that mission. Our goal is no less than to change the way that academics, policy makers and practitioners think about and respond to crime and security issues.

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.