This policy brief addresses the question of how governments can manage religious diversity to prevent religiously-motivated radicalisation and avoid the exacerbation of risks for radicalisation. The authors analyse this question as it pertains to three countries in Southeastern Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bulgaria. The analysis for each of the three countries includes an overview of the situation with religiously-motivated radicalisation and an explanation of current challenges related to the governance of religion in the respective country. Based on the challenges and risks identified, the authors provide some comparative insights. Common to the three countries are the observations that the engagement of religious communities in prevention is of high importance and that the governance of religion should be contextualized in emerging radicalisation threats.
A main contribution of this policy brief is the concluding section on policy implications and key messages to relevant stakeholders. This section provides specific recommendations to national policymakers, religious communities and EU institutions on approaches to the governance of religious diversity to contribute to the alleviation of risks of religiously-attributed radicalisation. A takeaway for prevention stakeholders across the three country cases concerns the need for an improved understanding of the connections between the governance of religious diversity and religiously-motivated radicalisation.