Discrimination and social marginalisation are major stumbling blocks to integration and community cohesion. In particular, discrimination and racial abuse can lead to social marginalisation and alienation that, in turn, might be one set of factors leading some individuals to develop attitudes, and even activities, supporting criminal movements and their use of violence.

With funding from the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), Susan McVie and Susan Wiltshire are carrying out a collaborative project with researchers from England, Spain and France to explore the relationship between young people’s experiences of discrimination and social marginalisation, including racism, and the development of attitudes, and potential activities, in support of violent criminal acts.

The self-report questionnaire survey method is being used as the research’s principle data collection tool, and will be applied to young respondents primarily in educational establishments. The research will include both minority and majority population respondents, in each Member State, in order to situate the findings in the context of experiences and attitudes that impact on young people regardless of their background.

The research findings are intended to inform policy makers about the experiences and attitudes of the survey’s young respondents with respect to discrimination, racism, alienation, identity, beliefs, and support for criminal movements and the use of violence. The findings can inform policy makers about where intervention and resources are most needed to counteract the negative influences of social marginalisation and racism on crime and violence. The report is completed and due to be published by the Fundamental Rights Agency in Summer 2010


Criminal Justice Process and Institutions

Associated People

Prof Susan McVie OBE FRSE