How Urban Societies Deal with Right-wing Extremism and Xenopobia
The project looks at how municipalities deal with right-wing extremist violence and xenophobia. We consider such phenomena to be a problem for urban societies as a whole rather than just a youth problem. A central line of enquiry is therefore how important actors - be they city governments, the police, youth departments, schools, culture departments, or other state and non-state institutions such as churches or civil rights groups - handle problems of violence and xenophobia and how they cooperate with one another. In order to obtain a comprehensive and neutral picture of this cooperation network 145 group discussions, participant observations, interviews, and meetings were held with social workers, teachers, pupils, victims, police and court officials, local politicians, staff of city administrations and youth departments, journalists, church representatives and socially active citizens in the two participating cities in 2000 and 2001. The information was analyze using qualitative methods to investigate the approaches taken by state and civil society actors, the logic underlying their actions, and their patterns of interaction. The research strategy was based on grounded theory. New developments in methodology such as using qualitative data to identify and portray local government cooperation networks are likely to be of considerable interest for future research in this area. The findings identify very clearly the potential resources and engagement that exist in cities and under what conditions best use can be made of this potential.