Project information

Background and motivation

In response to the stark increase of religious and political extremism in the last years, we have seen enormous growth in prevention and intervention measures developed by state and civil society actors.

Approach and objectives

The MAPEX project set out to generate a nationwide overview of all publicly accessible prevention, deradicalization and distancing initiatives addressing Islamist extremism in Germany and to map these on an interactive and digital platform.

The survey covered all medium- and long-term projects and measures working to prevent religiously based radicalization (Islamism and/or neo-Salafism) or are engaged in distancing and deradicalization of Islamist extremists.

The survey also considered initiatives on a universal or primary prevention level working to combat devaluation of people on the basis of faith, origin or their Weltanschauung. These are projects that do not necessarily address a specific target or risk group but do exhibit an indirect relationship to the phenomenon.

For further information on data and methods please click here.

What MAPEX offers and could offer in the future

Screenshot of the Project View The MAPEX platform consists of two different views or dashboards – the Project View and the Analytical View.

The Project View shows all prevention actors in Germany that identified as relevant and also gave their consent to be included in the dashboard. The data can be filtered by prevention level, field of action and location. Projects and measures can be displayed on the map or as a list. Clicking on a marker (on the map) or a project name (in the list) opens a popup with a brief description, address and website.

Screenshot of the Analytical View
The Analytical View offers additional analysis and visualization options, for example to show how many projects and measures address multiple phenomena and at which prevention level, in which field of action and with which target groups. For data protection reasons, the Analytical View uses an anonymised dataset aggregated by state.

The MAPEX platform is using open standards and interfaces which allow the addition of comparative data, additional survey periods and phenomena, as well as the integration of socio-demographic and socio-economic data.

The mapping is complemented by four qualitative subprojects. These have different but interrelated topics and were each run by one of the consortium partners.


MAPEX was supported by seven associates: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF), Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF), Ufuq e. V., Landeskriminalamt Sachsen, Wegweiser e. V. in Düsseldorf, the interdisciplinary LOEWE research focus »Religiöse Positionierung« (religious positioning) (RelPos) in Frankfurt am Main, and Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft religiös begründeter Extremismus (BAG RelEx).

MAPEX also cooperated with the DISLEX 3D project run by modus|zad (Analysing processes of distancing from three dimensions: A systematic approach).

There was also close collaboration with the research and transfer project PrEval – Evaluation designs for prevention measures coordinated by HSFK.

The research consortium

Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence

Bielefeld University

The subproject at IKG used qualitative and comparative methods to investigate whether concepts and methods developed for prevention and intervention in relation to right-wing extremism can be applied in dealing with Islamist radicalization. The aim was to determine the effectiveness and limits of transferability and to explore the commonalities and differences in the (de-)radicalization processes of Islamist and right-wing extremist adolescents from the perspective of practice. Existing forms of cooperation and networks between programs were examined as well as the importance of dealing with ideological beliefs in the context of right-wing extremist and Islamist deradicalization work.

Consortium coordinators: Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick, Dipl.-Soz. Manuela Freiheit
Researchers: Dipl.-Soz. Andreas Uhl
Student assistants: Franziska Winnacker, B.A., Moritz Bühler, B.A., Sören Sponick, M.A.

Education with Focus on Islamic Studies

Goethe University Frankfurt

The subproject at Goethe University Frankfurt examined universal and selective projects and measures, focusing on didactic concepts and methodological implementation of concrete prevention work. Taking a qualitative approach, the study explored the significance of different understandings of radicalization and different assumptions about the significance of religion and religiosity for radicalization processes. The research also considered the relevance of pedagogical planning and agency under aspects of professionalization. Cross-cutting these research questions were gender-related aspects. The subproject should contribute to synthesizing the various approaches and generating synergies from these diverse individual initiatives.

Head: Prof. Dr. Harry Harun Behr, Dr. Meltem Kulaçatan
Researchers: Dr. Peter Sitzer
Student assistants: Kristina Bolender, M.A., Christine-Irene Kraus, B.A., Zeynep Cetiner, B.A.

Institute of Islamic Theology

Universität Osnabrück

The subproject at the Institute of Islamic Theology (IIT) dealt with the identification of measures and projects in the field of radicalization prevention in the first project phase of MAPEX. In the second phase the IIT focused on socio-spatial aspects of prevention work based on selected projects and measures. The starting point here was the assumption that radicalization prevention is a community endeavour requiring a high degree of cooperation. In this context the IIT considered the following questions: (1) Are all the relevant actors in the given social space and governmental/public institutions (e.g. schools) adequately included in the projects and measures? (2) Which forms of cooperation exist and how can any existing obstacles be removed?

Head: Dr. Michael Kiefer
Researchers: Dorothee Fenner, M.A. and Kathrin Wagner, M.A.
Student assistant: Martin Kaminski, B.A.

Department of Social Work

Münster University of Applied Sciences

The subproject at Münster University of Applied Sciences investigated concrete demobilization, distancing and deradicalization measures – i.e. indicated prevention – through qualitative interviews with practitioners. The objective was to generate an overview of the most commonly used and most promising methods and approaches. As a transfer product, the project produced a detailed glossary of methods and approaches in indicated prevention, which allows practitioners and interested parties to obtain targeted and detailed information about all approaches and methods concerning indicated prevention.

Head: Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach
(subsituting for Prof. Dr. Aladin El-Mafaalani)
Researchers: Julian Waleciak, M.A., Linda Schumilas, B.A.
Student assistants: Hebba Gazarin, B.A., Rabia Richard, B.A., Justin Grawenhoff