Maarten De Waele works as project coordinator at the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG). From this position, he supports local administrations in setting up and developing a local integrated approach to violent extremism and polarisation. More concretely, he provides structural exchange of good practices and expertise through networking, training, guidance and tailored-made support.
Prior to this position, De Waele completed and published his PhD “Angry white rebel? Study on the mechanisms and processes of participation in extreme-right groups” in the field of Criminology at Ghent University. In his research De Waele contributed to the understanding of criminal prone moral beliefs (i.e. moral support for right-wing extremism) and criminal behaviour (i.e. political violence) by conducting a multi-method study. By integrating fragmented insight, the study gave rise to the development of more comprehensive perspectives that shed light on preventing or tackling the problem of right-wing extremist violence.
Since October 2023, in addition to his employment at the VVSG, De Waele has also been appointed part-time academic assistant (AAP) at the department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law at Ghent University where he provides assistance in the courses of Crime Prevention, Etiological Criminology, Research Design in Criminology and is responsible for the development of the course Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the Masters programme.