Interethnic distance, violence and violent extremism leading to terrorism


The Research Center Defence and Security  conducted a research on “Interethnic distance, violence and violent extremism leading to terrorism.” The research was conducted in five multiethnic municipalities. It included the population of primary and secondary schools in Subotica, Sombor, Novi Sad, Bački Petrovac and Bujanovac. A total of 900 students were interviewed. The Ministries of Education, Science and Technological Development supported this research.

Some results of this research are alarming, above all, the interethnic distance is still great 20 years after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The greatest distance is towards Roma and Albanians, and also Albanian children towards all other nationalities. The students answered in most cases that they did not want to associate with Roma and Albanians or to establish closer emotional ties with them. This points to the deep divisions that exist in the school period, which is unacceptable if we are to build a harmonious and democratic society in the future.

The second part of the research was related to school violence, extremism and terrorism. For us as a security organization, it was important to determine how young people react to violent behavior, weapons and whether they know what terrorism is. The research showed that as many as 51% of students were violent, whether verbally, physically or in some other way, but this data is certainly worrying, because it is about more than half of the students. Also, 7% of them stated that they own cold weapons and 12% that they want to acquire it. We already have 17% of respondents who hit someone and 5% who would be violent towards teachers, and 14% are sometimes exposed to harassment from other young people at school or in their free time.

While only 35% said they trusted the police and as many as 13% said they supported terrorists in some situations. Also worrying is the fact that 17% of students stated that they hate members of the gay population. It is also important to note that 100% of respondents stated that they have access to the Internet and use social networks.

This is only a part of the research that we have presented to you, the entire results can be found on the RCDS website. We have singled this out as results that warn both ministries and parents, and we hereby express our sincere concern about the results obtained. We hope that the situation in schools will be monitored and that this research will serve as a basis for further action and necessary preventive activities.

You can watch a recording of the conference regarding this research at