The research group Radical Spaces explores the multifaceted interrelations between transnational conflict constellations and processes of social mobilization that are accompanied by violence. At the core of its three-year research program are the conditions, forms, and dynamics of radical politics and (non-)state violence, as well as the comparative investigation of contentious politics and patterns of their radicalization and repression.
Through its work, the research group aims to contribute to a comprehensive theorization of the connection between dynamics of violence and culturally mediated interpretive struggles over the viability and legitimacy of different contentious social interactions. The focus is thus on political subjectivation processes and interaction dynamics between authorities and non-state actors that promote or constrain extreme action strategies and condition whether social actors turn to radical politics. By exploring these links on the basis of several empirical case studies, the project aims to develop a conceptual toolkit that can be used to identify and evaluate escalation tendencies and radicalization potentials during waves of protest at an early stage. To begin with, the research group will empirically focus on exploring several cases of mass mobilization and contentious politics in West Asia and North Africa within the framework of the project "Discursive conditions of radical politics: Dynamics of (non)violent escalation during the second wave of the Arab Spring."