Autumn Talks 2019

"Escaping the Spiral of Violence: Prevention of Radicalization in Eastern and Western Europe"


28th November 2019, 13.30-22.00
Rotes Rathaus Berlin, Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin

Subject of the "Autumn Talks" 2019

“Escaping the Spiral of Violence: Prevention of Radicalization in Eastern and Western Europe

Politically or religiously motivated acts of violence regularly dominate media reports. Debates in European societies appear increasingly polarized; various groups are radicalizing along internal and intersocietal lines of conflict. Against this backdrop, the 24th Berlin Autumn Talks inquires after the causes and possible solutions to these societal challenges and are dedicated to the lessons learned from approaches to prevention of radicalization  in Eastern and Western Europe. The conference is aimed at Eastern European experts, representatives from European civil society, as well as an interested public. In parallel fishbowl discussions, current aspects of radicalization tendencies will be examined in more detail as well as the needs, possibilities and limitations of various actors in prevention of radicalization. The cross-border exchange of experience should serve the furthering of knowledge to strengthen prevention work, the formulation of a common strategy, as well as the establishment of cooperation in the field of work.


Programme "Autumn Talks" 2019

Program: Wednesday, 28th November 2019



Guest Registration

[whole day exhibition by Dmitriy Ligay, Tashkent]






Opening and Greetings

  • Stefan Melle, Executive Director DRA e.V., Berlin
  • Dirk Wiese, Member of the Bundestag, Coordinator for inter-societal cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the countries of the Eastern Partnership, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin
  • Walter Kaufmann, Division Head Eastern and South Eastern Europe, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin
















Opening Statement and Audience Discussion: Prevention as a societal development task

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/RU

Acts of violence have devastating consequences for the individuals involved, public security and social cohesion. They have a signalling effect in society and can lead to a negative escalation spiral. Therefore, in addition to security measures and legal sanctions, there must also be competent prevention work. It can be understood not least as an approach to social conflict regulation. The introductory statement will firstly outline central terms, causes and catalysers for radicalization from a scientific point of view. It will then be shown, from a civil society perspective, what social challenges are currently confronting Eastern and Western Europe and what contribution prevention of radicalization can make to a non-violent and communal coexistence.


  • Julian Junk, Head of the Leibniz Research Group „Radicalization“, Peace Research Institut Frankfurt (PRIF),Head of the Berlin Office of PRIF, Berlin

Reactions from East and West European civil society

  • Harald Weilnböck, cultures interactive e.V., Berlin
  • Ekaterina Sokiryanskaia, Conflict Analysis and Prevention Centre (CAPC), Russia

Moderation: Gesine Dornblüth, Journalist, Texte und Toene, Berlin


Break for Networking


Parallel discussion forums: Fishbowl format

















Forum 1: The development of prevention work in France, Germany and Russia – Prevention between state and civil society

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/RU

How radicalization is dealt with depends to a large extent on the political, social and cultural context. Whilst the ‘hard power’ of the security services seeks to prevent extremist violent crimes through legal means, it is through the ‘soft power’ of pedagogical approaches that the processes of radicalization should be prevented. Alongside state-only prevention projects, state-civil society collaborations are also widespread. Yet, the significance and effectiveness of prevention work is often controversial. In the fishbowl format, the development of current areas of tension in prevention work in France, Germany and Russia will be tracked. With a look to future challenges, the question will be discussed as to how, and with the involvement of which actors in each of the contexts, prevention work can be designed.


  • N.N. France (tbc)
  • Michaela Glaser, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Center of Competence for Social Intervention Research, Frankfurt
  • Ekaterina Sokiryanskaia, Conflict Analysis and Prevention Centre (CAPC), Russia
  • Aleksandr Chunin, Head of the Department of the National Centre for Combating Terrorism and Extremism in the education sector and on the Internet, Rostov-on-Don

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Peter Rieker, Professor of Extracurricular Education, University of Zurich














Forum 2: Challenges for prevention workers in urban and rural contexts – psychological, ethnic and religious aspects

Room: 300 (Hermann-Waesemann-Saal); Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG

Work in the field of prevention has professionalized over the past decades. The actors are specialists from various fields: social workers, psychotherapists, human rights activists, coaches etc. They take on a significant and ever-increasing role in prevention work, a role that previously used to fall within the competence of the state and religious institutions. What are the special challenges to prevention work in the context of modern cities and rural areas? What is the role of traditional institutions in prevention today?


  • Viacheslav Polosin, religious scholar, deputy director „ Fund for Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education”, Moscow
  • Bartolomeo Conti, Centre d'étude des mouvements sociaux (CEMS), EHESS, Paris
  • Oliver Kossack, cultures interactive e.V., Berlin/Frankfurt(Oder)
  • Rüstü Aslandur, Chairman of the German-speaking association of Muslim, Karlsruhe

Moderation: N.N.












Forum 3: Prevention methods in the digital age

Room: 337 (Louise-Schroeder-Saal); Simultaneous translation: DE/RU

The internet offers cross-border opportunities for the expression and influencing of individual and collective opinions. Parallel to the expansion and professionalization of extremist propaganda on the internet, security experts are observing a trend towards the individualization of violent acts with an extremist background. The fishbowl forum will discuss which tactics and recruitment strategies radical movements are currently using. How can preventive measures effectively react to these developments, what lessons have already been learned?


  • Dennis Rosenbaum, VAJA e.V. Streetwork, Bremen
  • Jakob Guhl, Extremism researcher, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, London
  • Renat Muzaferov, director of the counselling centre „Dialogue“, Kasan

Moderation: N.N.


Evening Snack













Closing discussion: Strengthening prevention work – strategies and possibilities for cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/RU

Based on the preceding outlines of the issues, the question of how prevention of radicalization can succeed in different political, social and cultural contexts will be discussed. Which strategies for strengthening prevention work can be developed according to the possibilities, limits and needs of different actors? What opportunities does international cooperation offer for developing effective prevention work?


  • Harald Weilnböck, cultures interactive e.V., Berlin
  • Thomas Hoffmann, director of the foundation „German-Russian Youth Exchange“, Hamburg
  • James Hughes, Professor of Comparative Politics, London School of Economics, London
  • Lida Kurbanova, Professor of Sociology at the Chechen State University, Grozny

Moderation: Gesine Dornblüth, Journalist, Texte und Toene, Berlin


Summary and Closing Remarks


Reception and Get together





Please register for the event filling out the registration form.



Funded by: Federal Foreign Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation, ZEIT Foundation, Senate of Berlin





Kirsten Heyerhoff
Project Manager Autumn Talks 2019
+49 (0) 30 4466 80 12