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Hexagon: A Pedagogical Tool for Analysing Case Studies for the Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violence

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— 2 minutes reading time

Louis Audet Gosselin

Scientific and Strategic Director, Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV)

14 April 2021

The following opinion piece has been written by a guest author. The views expressed in it are the author’s own and cannot be attributed to the Strong Cities Network.

Radicalisation is a multi-faceted phenomenon, and requires a multifaceted solution. Consequently, practitioners need flexible tools that allow them to fully consider every case in its complexity and unique combination of factors. They also need to work in multidisciplinary teams to address the various causes of radicalisation and the multiple needs of radicalised individuals and their environment. Research has shown that work in disengagement from violent extremism is most efficient when it is personalised and tailor-made. It is essential to explore the various aspects of the individual’s life, especially the factors and conditions underlying the radicalisation process which, once identified, make it possible to work on the type of relationships and behaviours that can change the individual’s trajectory away from radicalisation leading to violence.

To answer this need, the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV), based in Montreal, Canada, in collaboration with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative have developed a pedagogical tool for supporting the analysis of radicalisation. Built on scientific literature and situations handled by the CPRLV, Hexagon’s aim is to improve understanding of situations of radicalisation leading to violence within a training framework, as well as fostering exploration of the various facets of this issue in the context of multidisciplinary practice. Hexagon is designed to help social workers, community workers, health care professionals, police officers, teachers, researchers and more to reflect upon complex situations more simply, all the while facilitating learning from complementary perspectives and expertise.

Hexagon helps explore the complex and underlying factors that contribute to radicalisation leading to violence and to promote effective collaborative intervention to support or disengage individuals from this path. Moreover, it helps analyse potential situations of radicalisation, and effectively informs and structures the analysis of professionals in a multi-disciplinary team.

Shaped like a hexagonal honeycomb, it centers on the individual. Each of the six sides of the hexagon represents a sphere of influence that can either lead to radicalisation or help prevent it: vulnerability factors, spheres of social life, protective factors, behaviours, context, and prevention actors. The arrangement of the spheres of influence around the central hexagon does not follow a rigid, predetermined order but illustrates the complexity of individual life. The spheres of life are then connected to a set of smaller cards that identify different factors or influences.

Hexagon is not a clinical evaluation tool and does not replace the considered judgement of professionals, neither should it be used as a risk assessment for potential radicalisation leading to violence, which is highly unpredictable. However, it can help professionals and support teams to gain in-depth understanding of specific issues at play in a radicalised individual’s path. For more information about Hexagon and the prevention work done by the CPRLV, visit or contact us at [email protected].