The Police Perception of the Role of School in Preventing Radicalization: The Case of Croatia
The aim of this paper was to explore whether and how educational institutions can be involved in the process of the prevention of extremism and radicalization from the point of view of the police.
Efficient prevention strategies include a community-oriented and multi-agency approach, and this research focuses on the role of education in preventing violent extremism and radicalization. This research was conducted on a sample of 108 students from the Croatian Police Academy of the Ministry of the Interior by a questionnaire examining the participants’ knowledge on radicalization, the presence of various types of radicalization in their environment, factors and conditions that affect the development of extremism and radicalization and the ability of schools to prevent radicalization.
Correlation analysis points to the role of schools in the prevention of radicalization by exerting influence on the three factors (financial/economic crisis, individual’s characteristics/personality and online propaganda) which affect the occurrence of extremism and radicalization.
Research Limitations / Implications:
Future research should include a larger sample with an equal number of participants with and without work experience in the police, so that potential differences in their attitudes could be investigated. Additionally, it would be useful to investigate the attitudes of participants on how schools could prevent radicalization.
The results of this research could be used to present the importance of schools in preventing radicalization to various stakeholders in order to start implementing teacher training for the facilitation of this process.
This paper gives us an insight into Croatian police officers’ perception of schools as their partners in the prevention of radicalization and extremism.
Keywords: extremism, police, prevention, radicalization, schools