RADAR Guidelines: Understanding hate-oriented communication and tools for anti-hate communication strategies in an intercultural dimension

Kofi Dossou, Klein Gabriella, Katerina Strani, Andrea Ravenda, Eirini Vlachaki

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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In European societies, increasingly reshaped by migration, the fight against racism and xenophobia is a key challenge for democracy and civil life. Despite anti-discrimination legislation that is in force in EU Member States, there is still a fundamental problem in identifying different forms of racism and xenophobia. These may consist of physical attacks against people or of verbal abuse through hate speech, that is, racist and xenophobic discourses “which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin” (Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation 97(20)).
A hate crime is never an isolated act; it is usually triggered and fostered by hate speech, consisting of discourses that express disdain, hatred, prejudice, etc. Such discourses are performed not only in direct face-to-face communication through public and private conversations, but they also take place online, in political discussions, in the media, as well as in other institutional contexts. Hate crimes may also follow from hate-oriented communication practices based on other communication levels, such as voice (paraverbal message), body language (non-verbal message), images (visual message). Finally, racist discourse often does not simply consist in explicit hatred, prejudice and disdain, but it may also take the form of an apparently benevolent recognition of the differences that presupposes a stereotypisation of an individual’s cultural and social identity. In this case, what may seem like a respectful recognition of differences masks underlying stereotypes and prejudices that ultimately become labels and stigmas for the individuals.
Furthermore, it has become increasingly difficult for judges, the police, politicians and the public to identify whether a physical offence is triggered by xenophobia, because it has to be interpreted within the context in which it has taken place. For this reason, it is often the case that ‘racist’ hate crimes are not recognised as such, which leads to an underestimation of the phenomenon. Treating crimes that are motivated by racist hatred as non-racist crimes leads to the violation of fundamental human rights. It is therefore essential that law enforcing and legal authorities, along with journalists and politicians, have tools for correctly identifying the motivation that underlies such criminal acts.
Project RADAR, implemented with the financial support of the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, aims to provide law enforcement officials and legal professionals with the necessary tools, mainly through open training activities, aimed at facilitating the identification of racist motivated hate communication. For this purpose, interpretative work was carried out based on interviews with hate crime victims, as well as online and printed examples of hate-oriented communication practices in six different countries (Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, UK, Finland). The material was analysed and categorized for the purposes of designing a communication-based training course based on the GINCO (Grundtvig International Network of Course Organisers) concept of competence-oriented learning and self- evaluation.
The final output of the project is the “RADAR Guidelines”, which is a selection of best practices, recommendations and tangible tools collected and developed by the project for the identification of hate- base and hate producing communication practices, addressed mainly to legal professionals (judges, lawyers), law enforcement officials (city police, border police, military), as well as teachers, educators, journalists, non-profit organisations dealing with migrants issues and the hegemonic and migrant population (particularly victims of racist discrimination and racism), to enable them to more easily identify, recognize and prevent hate-based and hate producing oriented communication practices and to better apply national anti-discrimination and anti-racist laws.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPerugia, Italy
PublisherKey & Key Communications, Perugia, Italy
Number of pages80
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-95887-30-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • race
  • hate communication
  • hate speech
  • migration


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