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  • Author: Franziska Praxl-Tabuchi
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: History offers plenty of examples of female involvement in political violence, but a certain fascination and disbelief continue to surround female violent extremists because women are often still viewed as homemakers and mothers, surprising society by the number of young girls and women joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This policy brief explores the drivers of radicalization to and engagement in violent extremism and the factors of disengagement and desistance among women and girls by examining cases of individuals that went through the United Kingdom’s Channel program. Channel cases were chosen for this analysis because it is one of the longest running (since 2007) and most documented early intervention programs developed specifically to prevent engagement with terrorism and violent extremism. It aims to enhance understanding of gender-sensitive interventions that address the specific needs of women and girls. Recommendations include the focus on mechanisms for women and men to claim their rights and have their grievances heard while ensuring accountability mechanisms are in place and the need to more effectively combine online and offline preventing and countering violent extremism actions.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Radicalization, Internet, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Christina Nemr, Sara Savage
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Structural factors that can fuel support for violent extremism, like corrupt governance and inequality, are often intertwined with individual-level vulnerability factors, such as a search for identity or a need for quick answers to issues of injustice. Under these circumstances, individuals can be drawn to black-and-white answers that seem to offer simplicity, clarity, and certainty. Unfortunately, a hallmark of violent extremist ideologies is this binary thinking, stripped of complexity and with an identifiable in-group/out-group dynamic that offers a sense of community and belonging to help people make sense of the world. As policymakers and practitioners work to address the larger structural factors fueling violent extremism, psychological interventions may help address the binary construct of thinking that can make violent extremist ideologies sound appealing at the individual level. This policy brief explore the concept of integrative complexity - an empirical, peer-reviewed, and cross-culturally validated measure of the complexity of thinking - and the ways it can be applied in contexts of violent extremism and other instances of intergroup conflict.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Inequality, Psychology, Social Justice, Trauma
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Sweden, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Stephen White
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Based on his experience policing during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and supporting the police reform process following the Good Friday Agreement, Stephen White offers a practitioner’s perspective on how police-community relations eventually were moved from a place of distrust in certain sections of society to one of wider acceptance and partnership. The policy brief highlights how implementing a comprehensive community policing strategy can serve as a means and an end in itself when dealing with drivers of intercommunal violence and violent extremism. The brief concludes to offer a cause for optimism along with an evidence-based template for reforms that others may wish to consider when undertaking comprehensive security sector reforms to aid in peacebuilding and the prevention and countering of violent extremism context.
  • Topic: Sectarian violence, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Transitional Justice, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Northern Ireland
  • Author: Rafia Bhulai, Allison Peters, Christina Nemr
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Over the past few years, there has been an increase in multilateral norms and principles recognizing the critical roles of women in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). However, there is less attention to the practical dimensions of implementing a gender dimension into P/CVE efforts, as well as strategic coordination with the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda and other fields, such as development and human rights, which for a long time have advanced comprehensive approaches to gender integration. This policy brief, produced by the Global Center and Inclusive Security, explores ways of enhancing a cross-sectoral approach to integrating inclusion of gender and women as a core component of the United Nations and member state P/CVE efforts while developing a closer understanding of the potential points of convergence between the P/CVE and WPS agendas. It takes stock of multilateral efforts in this area and concludes with a set of practical recommendations for UN member states, entities, and stakeholders on ways to integrate attention to gender and enhance women’s meaningful inclusion in P/CVE.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Global Focus