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Preventing Violent Extremism in Germany: Coherence and Cooperation in a Decentralized System

Cover for "WP 2005 violent extremism"
Dr Ian Anthony and Michael Herzog zu Mecklenburg
Publisher: SIPRI
August, 2020

Public data suggests that there are reasons to be concerned about violent extremism in Germany. Membership in political groups that hold extremist views is growing, and crime statistics suggest an increase in extremist violence. The number of recorded terrorist incidents on German territory has been high by European standards. Changes in German politics and society may provide fertile ground for political extremism in future.

To prevent violent extremism Germany has invested heavily in an expanding number of projects and initiatives at federal, state and municipal level, but the constitutional structure makes promoting coherence and coordination challenging. Moreover, non-governmental and civil society actors now play a prominent role in initiatives.

Increasing the number and scale of initiatives was partly to pilot different approaches and see which were effective. However, assessing the multitude of projects and initiatives to decide which should be promoted or discontinued is itself a challenge.

Contents

1. Introduction

2. The German political and legal context

3. Strategies for crime prevention and preventing violent extremism

4. Conclusion

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)/EDITORS

Dr Ian Anthony is the Director of the European Security Programme.
Michael Herzog zu Mecklenburg

was an intern in SIPRI’s European Security Programme focusing on violent extremism and crime.