Cross-sectional study on prevention and violent extremism in the Francophone space

Courses of action and recommendations presented to the Member States of La Francophonie

On March 7, 2022, the UNESCO Chair in the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Extremism (UNESCO-PREV) presented to the Political Commission of the International Organization of La Francophonie the results of a study on the prevention of violent extremism in the Francophone space.

This collective research, carried out by a consortium of five French-speaking research centers from the South and the North, is part of a context marked by a rise in violent radicalization and extremism within the Francophone space for several years. Through documentary reviews and field surveys, the study analyzes the prevention strategies, programs and tools implemented in several Francophone countries. It also formulates courses of action to respond to identified prevention needs.

At the request of the Francophone Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism that could lead to Terrorism (FrancoPREV) and the International Organization of La Francophonie, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Centre de ressources et d’appui du Réseau de prise en charge des extrémis et des radicalismes violents (CRÉA), the Centre africain d’études internationales, diplomatiques, économiques et stratégiques (CEIDES), and the Applied Social Sciences Forum (ASSF) have jointly carried out this research under the overall coordination of the UNESCO-PREV Chair. It was supported by the OIF, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Government of Quebec.

Thus, each research institution produced an analysis report for the targeted countries, namely Tunisia, Morocco, Togo, Niger, Cameroon, Belgium and Canada. The UNESCO-PREV Chair then wrote a synthesis report presenting a cross-cutting analysis of the study and issued recommendations to regional and international organizations and governments. Adib Bencherif and David Morin, both professors at the University of Sherbrooke’s School of Applied Politics, and Lydie C. Belporo, a doctoral candidate at the School of Criminology at the University of Montreal, wrote this cross-cutting report. 

“We are very pleased to present the fruit of this considerable teamwork carried out in partnership with our African and Belgian colleagues in a context complicated by deteriorating security and covid-19. The results of this large-scale study seem to us to offer many avenues for reflection and concrete actions to the various actors on the ground which we hope will be useful to them in dealing with the rise of violent extremism.”

David Morin, professor at the School of Applied Politics at the UdeS and co-holder of theUNESCO-PREV Chair.

The final study took into account all the country reports and drew up findings, issues and courses of action based on evidence and rooted in the values of the Francophonie. This synthesis is a valuable tool that will be brought to the attention of the member states and governments of the Francophonie to enable them to better develop effective and relevant action strategies.

Article by Chaire UNESCO-PREV