MOTRA-TM – Technology monitoring as part of the collaborative project “Monitoring System and Transfer Platform Radicalization”

Project description


Especially in the context of digitalization, new technologies can expand the possibilities for disseminating extremist ideas, facilitate the networking of extremist actors, and support radicalization processes or even acts of violence. At the same time, they also provide security authorities that want to prevent such acts of violence with new possibilities for control and surveillance.

The MOTRA research association, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), aims at the prevention of and fight against violent radicalization. The overall project aims at analyzing radicalization processes, interlinking governmental and non-governmental actors, and strengthening the practical prevention work in Germany.

Within this framework, ITAS is responsible for the sub-project “Technology monitoring” and its objective of assessing the development potentials and trends of new technologies regarding violent radicalization processes and the fight against them. On the one hand, the project is about facilitating the identification and categorization of new technologies that can drive or curb such radicalization processes. On the other hand, both the impacts of extremist networking on crucial elements of society and the societal side effects and ethical aspects of technology-based preventive measures are taken into account.

The project analyzes the dimensions of technology monitoring as a constellation of system-environment relations in which governmental and non-governmental actors have to deal with different problems and, if necessary, resort to technologies.

The focal problem of security authorities is the observation of radicalizing actors in order to prevent extremist radicalizations and violent acts. However, possible solutions to this problem often raise legal and ethical questions regarding the impacts on society as a whole, not least because radicalization does not automatically lead to extremism and the willingness to use violence.

The focal problem of extremist actors is the protection of their communication against observation. When they disseminate extremist ideas, they want to protect their identity. In case of the joint planning of violent acts they also want to protect the content of their communication. If such actors succeed, possibly with the help of technologies, in attacking vulnerable infrastructures, institutions or settings, their activities can have massive impacts on society as a whole.

Based on this conceptualization of the constellation of actors, it is possible to use elements of innovation research in technology monitoring and, in a first step, to identify those needs of the different actors that could be answered by new technologies. In doing so, we distinguish between different degrees of novelty, ranging from the improper use of an existing technology to the recombination of several technologies to genuinely new technologies. On this basis and by using different sources of knowledge (literature, internet documents, databases and research results from other partners of the collaborative project, expert interviews and workshops) the project will develop relevance criteria and evaluation schemes to realize a monitoring of relevant technologies.

Project website:


Gazos, A.; Plattner, G.; Madeira, O.
Resilience is not futile. Wie kann den Herausforderungen durch malevolenten Technologieeinsatz demokratisch begegnet werden?
2024. Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung: "Transformationen von Extremismus und Intoleranz in Deutschland und Europa" (MOTRA-K 2024), Wiesbaden, Germany, March 7–8, 2024 
Book Chapters
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Gazos, A.; Röller, T.; Büscher, C.
Technologiemonitoring: Das Potenzial von Metaverse und KI für extremistische Verwendungszwecke
2023. MOTRA-Monitor 2022. Hrsg.: U. Kemmesies, 226–252, Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA) 
Kemmesies, U.; Wetzels, P.; Austin, B.; Büscher, C.; Dessecker, A.; Hutter, S.; Rieger, D. (Eds.)
MOTRA-Monitor 2022
2023. Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA). doi:10.53168/ISBN.978-3-9818469-6-6_2023_MOTRA
Conference Papers
Gazos, A.
Die soziomaterielle Konstitution von Cybersicherheit in der Dynamik kritischer Informationsinfrastrukturen
2023. Polarisierte Welten : Verhandlungen des 41. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2022. Hrsg.: P.-I. Villa 
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Gazos, A.; Röller, T.; Büscher, C.
Aktuelle Befunde aus dem Technologiemonitoring – Extremismus und Radikalisierung imMetaverse. MOTRA-Spotlight 08/23
2023. Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA) 
Gazos, A.
Critical Infrastructure Resilience and the anticipatory Control of Circulations
2023. (2023), Aachen, Germany, March 15–17, 2023 
Plattner, G.
OK Google, zeig mir Propaganda! KI als Game Changer für Extremismus und Radikalisierung?
2023. technik.kontrovers "Technik EXTREM" (2023), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 3, 2023 
Plattner, G.; Baum, K.; Steffen, E.; Lehmann, T.
KI - Fluch oder Segen?
2023. KI : Fluch oder Segen (2023), Online, December 7, 2023 
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.
Ok Google, zeig mir Propaganda: KI als Tool lfür Radikalisierung und Prävention
2023, September 5. 2. Wissenschaftskonferenz - Meinungsbildung 2.0 - Strategien im Ringen um Deutungshoheit im digitalen Zeitalter (2023), Berlin, Germany, September 5–6, 2023 
Book Chapters
Büscher, C.; Kusche, I.; Röller, T.; Andres, F.; Gazos, A.; Hahn, J.; Ladikas, M.; Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.; Scherz, C.
Trends der zukünftigen Technologienutzung im Kontext von Extremismus und Terrorismus: erste Erkenntnisse aus dem MOTRA-Technologiemonitoring
2022. Kemmesies, Uwe; Wetzels, Peter; Austin, Beatrix; Büscher, Christian; Dessecker, Axel; Grande, Edgar; Rieger, Diana (Hg.): MOTRA-Monitor 2021, 248–281, Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (MOTRA). doi:10.53168/isbn.978-3-9818469-4-2_2022_MOTRA
Gazos, A.
Die soziomaterielle Konstitution von Cybersicherheit in der Dynamik kritischer Informationsinfrastrukturen
2022, September 28. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie / Polarisierte Welten (DGS 2022), Bielefeld, Germany, September 26–30, 2022 
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.
Metaverse - New Freedom or Breeding Ground for Extremism?
2022. 14th The Future of Terrorism and Terrorism Research : 14th Annual International Conference (2022), Coventry, United Kingdom, September 8–9, 2022 
Madeira, O.; Plattner, G.
Metaverse - neue Freiheit oder Nährboden für Extremismus?
2022. MOTRA-K (2022), Wiesbaden, Germany, September 1, 2022 
Book Chapters
Kusche, I.; Andres, F.; Gazos, A.; Büscher, C.; Hahn, J.; Ladikas, M.; Röller, T.; Scherz, C.
2021. MOTRA-Monitor 2020. Hrsg.: U. Kemmesies, 188–204, Bundeskriminalamt – Forschungsstelle Terrorismus/Extremismus, Wiesbaden 
Kemmesies, U.; Wetzels, P.; Austin, B.; Dessecker, A.; Grande, E.; Kusche, I.; Rieger, D.
MOTRA-Monitor 2020
2021. Bundeskriminalamt – Forschungsstelle Terrorismus/Extremismus, Wiesbaden. doi:10.53168/isbn.978-3-9818469-9-7_2021_MOTRA
Journal Articles
Gazos, A.
Resilient Transformations of Critical Infrastructures in Crisis
2021. Transformation of Infrastructure Systems (2021), Online, November 4–5, 2021 
Kusche, I.
Technologiemonitoring: Eine Delphi-Studie zum zukünftigen Technologiegebrauch extremistischer Akteure
2021. MOTRA-K #2 - Jahreskonferenz des Forschungsverbundes Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (2021), Wiesbaden, Germany, September 1, 2021 
Kusche, I.; Büscher, C.
Emerging Technologies and Terrorist Threats: A Monitoring Approach
2021. 15th Conference of the European Sociological Association (2021), Online, August 31–September 3, 2021 
Kusche, I.
MOTRA-Technologiemonitoring : Eine Einführung
2020. MOTRA-K #1 - Jahreskonferenz des Forschungsverbundes Monitoringsystem und Transferplattform Radikalisierung (2020), Wiesbaden, Germany, September 1, 2020 
Kusche, I.; Büscher, C.
Technologiemonitoring zur Prävention von Extremismus und terroristischer Gewalt
2020. 40. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS-Kongress 2020), Online, September 14–24, 2020 


Dr. phil. Christian Büscher
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-23181