Contact person:
Tina Askanius
  • European Commission
  • Horizon Europe Programme
Responsible at MaU:
Tina Askanius
Project members at MaU:
Collaborators :
  • Open University UK
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • American University of Paris
  • University of Cyprus
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Institute Jožef Stefan (IJS)
  • Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Panteion University
  • University of Malta
  • Özyeğin University
  • Cultures Interactive
  • University of Coimbra
  • International Security Affairs Centre
  • Kosovar Centre for Security Studies
  • Hammurabi Human Rights Organization
  • PRONI Center
Time frame:
01 April 2023 - 31 December 2026

About the project

OppAttune tracks the evolution of oppositional extreme ideologies and protectionist decision making, develops an innovative attunement model and intervenes at the national and transnational level to limit the spread of extremism. OppAttune revitalises democratic engagement building trust in the democratic key institutions within the process. It provides evidence-based strategies and recommendations at the micro, meso and macro-level.

Oppositional worldviews, narratives and dissensus within public debate are all vital to a functioning democracy. Equally at the core of the rise of extremist narratives is the destructive polarisation of oppositional us/them logic. Disruptive actors, algorithms, mainstream and social media polarise this oppositional logic using disinformation, emotions, hot cognitions, conspiracy theories and mistrust to create new forms of direct action. This direct action is understood to many as direct democracy.

This direct action seeds unlikely coalitions and creates attractive alternative on-line/off-line worlds. These alternative worlds spread extreme narratives into mainstream public sphere so pervasively by building on the national political lexicon within deep rooted sociological and historical pathways. These macro-level pathways interact with a psychological sense of real and symbolic threat.

Existential insecurities arising out of economic and refugee-related crises have been exacerbated by Covid-19 to create re-bordering e.g xenophobic-nationalism and localisation of production. Extreme narratives feed suspicion and hostility towards reciprocal co-operative programmes and mutually advantageous multilateralism.

The OppAttune project will track, attune and limit the evolution of oppositional extreme discourse, worldviews and narratives to create reciprocity at micro, meso and macro-level decision-making towards the transnational freedoms of the European Union and the increasing need for multilateralism. We operate across national, transnational and global contexts involving sites within Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Kosova, Malta, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

To track, attune and limit the spread of oppositional extreme narratives OppAttune uses cross-national methods including machine-learning and media-tracking across borders, surveys, interviews, psychological scaling, in-depth ethnography and on-line public-facing interactive self-testing. OppAttune works together with five NGOs and twelve academic partners to create a freely available self-diagnostic for the public.

The project will host the OppAttune Winter Academy for practitioners and policy-makers and the OppAttune Summer Academy for students and researchers. These academies will build capacity training participants in how to track, attune and limit extreme narratives. OppAttune outputs are designed to be exploitable directly by public, researchers and civil society. We will provide multi-level evidence-based recommendations designed to revitalise trust and counter the potential of extreme narratives to disrupt democratic growth.