Germany provides an interesting setting to study countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts. Since 2015, Germany has accepted nearly one million refugees fleeing conflict and war in the Middle East and North Africa. The influx of refugees has not only generated concerns about Germany’s capacity to receive and integrate this population, it has also created a climate of fear and suspicion among Germans. This is especially true following a series of jihadist attacks across Europe. This confluence of events has spurred the creation of numerous programs and organizations aiming to combat potential jihadist radicalization and attacks.
Against this backdrop, this report made a set of four concrete and substantial recommendations for the German government to effectively confront and address violent extremism and radicalization within its borders. First, it highlighted the significance of a bottom- up, community-driven approach in implementing community engagement, public awareness, and education programs that aim to enhance social integration and mutual awareness between host and refugee communities. Second, the report discussed how CVE hotlines can be effectively utilized and provide appropriate support to networks of families and friends. Third, the report outlined a framework through which online ad targeting can be used to advertise hotlines on search engines and social media platforms. Finally, the report showed that it is imperative that the German government develop an up-to-date, comprehensive database of its many CVE and related programs in Germany. The database will be an extremely valuable tool not only for Germany, but also for any government hoping to improve coordination and transparency in its CVE efforts.