Methods for strengthening resilience against anti-democratic phenomena
Although the methods presented in the following part of this publication also aim at raising awareness and political consciousness, they are more concretely related to the prevention of more specific anti-democratic phenomena such as extremism, authoritarianism, violent radicalisation, hate speech or conspiracy theories. In particular, they help raise awareness of mechanisms such as discrimination, stereotyping, hate speech, disinformation, conspiracy theories and manipulation. As a result, they not only make it possible to counteract the adoption of extremist views (to which all the mechanisms mentioned above may lead), they also make it possible to shape the competences included in the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture. Each method refers to several of the competences included there.
As the methods presented in this section often address very sensitive issues, it is important to be careful when using them. First of all, care should always be taken to create a safe environment for the participants where none of them can feel hurt or even verbally attacked. So, if, as a trainer, you feel that the group you are working with does not yet have the right level of trust, it is better to start working with them on more basic issues. For this matter, you can use the methods presented in the first of the subsections of this guide in the part with educational methods (sub-chapter entitled “Methods to enhance general political awareness for an open society”).