GREASE Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion: Bringing together European and Asian Perspectives

For more information, please consult the GREASE project website


What can Europe learn from other parts of the world about managing religious diversity? What lessons can be learned to help prevent religious radicalisation? With input from researchers in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, the EU-funded GREASE project will spend the next three years exploring these questions. The twelve-partner consortium will look at how religious diversity is governed in a broad range of cultures, comparing relevant norms, laws and practices. Within this process the researchers will seek to assess the relative success of various regimes in integrating minorities and migrants. The aim is to deepen our understanding of religious diversity governance, emphasising insights for countering radicalisation trends.

In addition to comparing current models of religious diversity governance, GREASE will analyse historical influences affecting them. Specifically, the project will look at how norms and practices for governing religious diversity have been transferred between Europe and the regions mentioned above. Particular attention will be paid to the legacy of colonialism.

With respect to Europe, GREASE will attempt to unravel the paradox of religious radicalization in light of growing secularization. The project will consider the claims that migrant integration in Europe has failed because second generation youth have become marginalised and radicalised, with some turning to jihadist terrorism networks. The researchers will also examine secularisation and radicalisation in light of wider societal transformations such as increased connectivity, mobility and inter-dependence as well as widening inequalities and the re-emergence of nationalism.

As Europe struggles to cope with the challenges of religious diversity and radicalisation, it may be useful to look at how other regions deal with these issues. In doing so the GREASE project will deliver innovative academic thinking on secularisation and radicalisation and offer insights for governance of religious diversity,with a special focus on preventing radicalisation.

The project, which has a budget of 2.2 million euros, is being coordinated by Professor Anna Triandafyllidou from The European University Institute in Italy. Other consortium members include Professor Tariq Modood from The University of Bristol (UK); Dr. Hisham Helyer from The Royal United Services Institute, (UK); Dr. Mila Mancheva from The Centre for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria); Dr. Egdunas Racius from Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania); Mr. Terry Martin from the research communications agency SPIA (Germany); Professor Mehdi Lahlou from Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco); Professor Haldun Gulalp of The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (Turkey); Professor Pradana Boy of Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (Indonesia); Professor Zawawi Ibrahim of The Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (Malaysia); Professor Gurpreet Mahajan of Jawaharlal Nehru University (India); and Professor Michele Grossman of Deakin University, Melbourne (Australia).

Duration 1 October 2018 – 30 March 2022

Scientific Coordinator: Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou