Security and Defence

Towards more constructive approaches to countering violent extremism
16 Nov 2016 09:00
Bron: Elliott Brown/flickr

Lessons, evidence and innovation from Europe and the WANA region.

This event is upon personal invitation only.

The resilience of Daesh in Syria and Iraq against broad-scale military intervention, coupled with the continuing spread of radical ideology constitutes the greatest threat to peace and security in the West Asia-North Africa region, and beyond. The group’s non-standard aims coupled with the difficulty of addressing the causative factors fueling the violence has limited the effectiveness of coalition efforts and counter-measures. This emerging challenge requires a new conceptualisation of Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism (CPVE)  specifically expansion in scope to address the social, psychological, and cultural drivers of extremism in local communities.

In response, the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute is organising a Euro-regional conference, with Clingendael researcher Bibi van Ginkel as guest-speaker,  to encourage innovative and evidence-based thinking on how to more effectively advance CPVE programs in the WANA region and Europe. It will bring together 75 policy makers, renowned academics and practitioners from both regions to discuss both opportunities and challenges, and to share lessons learned from promising CPVE initiatives.

The first day’s discussion will concentrate on radicalisation pathways. It will explore both traditional ‘push and pull’ factors as well as the role of scantly understood drivers, such as psychological and identity factors. The discussion will also solicit opinions on how a better understanding of these factors might assisting in dealing with the challenge of reintegrating returnees. The second day will draw on the experiences of practitioners - both local and state level - engaged in high-potential CPVE interventions. The objective is to inspire innovative and evidence-based thinking around CPVE strategies, and to bridge gaps in the discourse, particularly between extremism, radicalization and terrorism; and between community-driven and security-centric approaches. Overall, the event will provide a platform for creative knowledge sharing to expand PVE thinking beyond traditional military and security objectives. 

The full programme of the conference can be downloaded below.