Advocacy, Communication, Governance, Media, Public policy, Technology


   Organized by the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) at the Central European University (CEU) and VOX-Pol Network of Excellence



Course date

4 July - 8 July, 2016
Application for this course is closed.
Course Director(s): 

Eva Bognar

Center for Media, Data and Society, Democracy Institute, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Maura Conway

Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland

Kate Coyer

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Cristina Archetti

Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway

Mina al-Lami

BBC Monitoring, United Kingdom

Rajan Basra

King's College London, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, United Kingdom

Manuela Caiani

Political Science, Webster Vienna Private University, Austria

Lina Dencik

Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

Ross Frenett

Moonshot CVE, London, United Kingdom

Paul Gill

Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London, United Kingdom

Bulcsu Hunyadi

Political Capital, Budapest, Hungary

Dia Kayyali


Jim Killock

Open Rights Group, London, United Kingdom

Lisa McInerney

VOX-Pol Project; Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland

Mohamad Najem

Social Media Exchange, Beirut, Lebanon

Sejal Parmar

Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Jillian York

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Berlin, Germany
Course Coordinator: 

Dumitrita Holdis

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence 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.

This week-long VOX-Pol summer course is designed to provide PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, advanced MA students, civil society, policymakers and advocates, industry representatives, security professionals, journalists, and others with an introduction to the role of the internet in contemporary violent political extremism(s), including the ethics and practices of monitoring violent extremist content;  impacts on freedom of expression and privacy online; and how to research and contribute to ensuing policy debates.

The course will be run with a mix-method teaching style and includes lectures, discussion, small group work, policy lab and hands-on practicum, as well as a field trip to the Open Society Archives. Sessions will be led by experts from across fields, including research, policy making, internet industries, and civil society.

Topics to be covered may include, but are not limited to:

  • State security and online privacy in the wake of recent attacks
  • The internet and radicalization and recruitment into violent political extremist and terrorist groups
  • Balancing security, privacy, and freedom of expression online in responding to violent political extremism and terrorism
  • The content and functioning of violent political extremist online forums
  • Ethical issues surrounding monitoring of violent political extremist content online
  • The role of video in violent political extremism online
  • Women/gender, violent political extremism, and online media
  • Role of internet and social media companies in responding to violent political extremism online, including take-down requests, blocking, surveillance and filtering of extremist content
  • Case studies of particular violent political extremist group’s use of digital media, including Jihadis, right wing extremists and others
  • Case studies of violent political extremism on specific social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  • Online initiatives to counter violent extremism
  • Critical responses to research on, reporting of, and governmental responses to the conjunction of violent political extremism and the Internet
  • Research methods for studying violent online political extremism

Application process and prerequisites

Applicants will have an interest in the field of violent online political extremism and be able to demonstrate how the course will benefit their work and / or research. Applicants should submit a 1-2 page statement of interest that addresses the relevancy of this course to their research, work or field of inquiry; a writing sample that addresses specific issues related to violent extremism online (research paper, policy brief, published  article, case study summary, etc); a CV; and demonstration of sufficient English language proficiency.

In order to maximize the output and opportunities for participants the course will have a maximum of 25 students. Selected students will be asked to give a brief presentation of their work during the course.

There is no tuition fee for the course and scholarships towards travel costs and / or accommodation in the CEU residency halls are available to a limited number of select participants through the support of VOX-Pol.