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  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that began in 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging counterterrorism campaign. Central to Saudi counterterrorism efforts has been the use of unconventional “soft” measures designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justifications for violent extremism. The primary objective of this strategy is to engage and combat an ideology that the Saudi government asserts is based on corrupted and deviant interpretations of Islam. The impetus for this soft approach came in large part from the recognition that violent extremism cannot be combated through tradition security measures alone. This Saudi strategy is composed of three interconnected programs aimed at prevention, rehabilitation, and post- release care (PRAC). Although only in operation for the past four years, the Saudi strategy—es- pecially the rehabilitation and counter-radicalization programs—has generated very positive and very intriguing results. To date, recidivist and rearrest rates are extremely low, at approximately 1 to 2 percent. Similar programs designed to demobilize violent extremists and their supporters are increasing in popularity, with a number of countries adopting comparable counter-radicalization pro- grams. Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all established rehabilitation and engagement programs, as has the U.S. military through Task Force 134 in Iraq. As such, the importance of understanding the Saudi strategy, and counter-radicalization broadly, is increasing in relevance in the fight against violent radical Islamist extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Governance
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Floortje Klijin, Adam Pain
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: It is widely believed that there is a strong demand for credit in Afghanistan and that much of this demand is unmet, justifying a major programme in microcredit provision. But there is very little understanding of the extent and the workings of informal credit systems, particularly outside opium poppy growing areas. Is there such an absence of credit available to poor rural households as is assumed? Do microfinance and informal credit respond to the same needs? Is informal credit simply the same thing as formal credit, except that it takes place outside formal institutions? And if there is more informal credit available than is believed, what does this mean for the development and role of formal credit systems? These key questions informed a detailed anthropological study of informal credit practices in three contrasting villages in Herat, Ghor and Kapisa. Drawing from a detailed presentation of eight households case studies, and amplified with addition case material, a number of key conclusions can be drawn from the findings.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Monetary Policy, Microcredit, Rural, Money, Demand, Credit
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The study includes three main interrelated issues, reflecting Bulgaria’s approaches and interests in preserving and developing a particular set of partnerships in South East Europe with the purpose of continuing the trend of the region’s modernisation in the fields of economy, infrastructure, technology, society and politics: first, the balancing between the special pragmatic relations of the United States with Bulgaria, and the EU integration of the country and the region; second, reaching a higher quality of NATO and EU memberships as a vehicle of pushing ahead the processes of regional emancipation, and, third, the specific regional consequences of the country’s membership in NATO and soon – in the EU
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus