The project was kicked off by the consortium in September 2016 in Vienna. On the first day, the consortium partners introduced their organisation. The coordinator highlighted the structure and the schedule of the project. As another major point on the first day, the workpackage leads presented their particular workpackage (WP) and the main aims of the work.
On the second day, joint sessions on WP2 and WP3 as well as parallel sessions on WP4 and WP5, WP6 and WP7 were held. All consortium partners discussed the content, the ways to address the tasks of these WPs and an initial planning involving the relevant partners was developed in order to get the work started as soon as possible.
On the third day, WP8 was presented and project management tools, administration issues such as reporting and quality assurance procedures were highlighted by the coordinator, before the kick-off meeting was closed in the late afternoon.
Project Website and Social Media
One major tool for making TAKEDOWN visible and for providing essential information on the project is the project website. The website provides an overview on the background, the objectives and the structure of the project. It also highlights the expertise and the roles of all 18 consortium partners. Furthermore, it provides interested persons with public deliverables, the project logo and – as a continuous action – with factsheets, folders and other dissemination material.
A second major tool for promoting TAKEDOWN and for creating a strong network of scholars, practitioners and other key players in this field are social media channels. As a first step, the TAKEDOWN Twitter channel was installed to get connected with the scientific and practitioner key players in the field of organized crime and terrorist networks.
The consortium has decided to install a Facebook channel in the second year of the project in order to distribute and promote the project outcomes. The Facebook channel will also be used to connect with further stakeholders and to distribute the TAKEDOWN newsletters. Furthermore, the consortium will constantly evaluate the installation of further social media channels.
Review of the Scientific Literature
As a foundation for the TAKEDOWN project, the scientific literature on OC and TN is currently reviewed as part of WP2. The works discussed are selected on the basis of the following delimiting criteria: analyses of the causes, structures and activities of organized crime and terrorist networks are examined if they are relevant to, and linked with, the identification of tools to prevent and tackle both forms of crime. This will be of paramount importance when, in WP3, the empirical part of the research will be carried out.
The literature review is divided into three main sections, respectively pertaining to organized crime, terrorism, and hybrids forms combining elements of both. Within the first two sections, the literature review will focus on causes, structures, activities, and prevention-response measures related to OC and TN. The third and final section will examine the ‘hybrids’ (or the ‘nexus’), namely the organizations and actions which combine elements of organized crime and terrorism. It will review both the literature that examines these two phenomena jointly as well as the literature that is discarding the association of the two phenomena.