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  • Author: Matthew Schwartz, Naz Yalbir
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, security actors in Kenya and the international community have increasingly viewed young people in Kenya's Muslim communities as vectors for radicalization to violent extremism. A number of large scale economic development assistance programs in the country, even as they promote the intense free market entrepreneurialism that continues to leave the vast majority of Kenyans behind, are also increasingly taking on preventing violent extremism objectives. Against the backdrop of heightened international and domestic concerns over the vulnerability of Kenyan youth to violent extremism, this policy brief focuses on the hardships and priorities of youth in Kenya through the voices of young people themselves. Drawing on a series of focus group discussions conducted by the Kenya Community Support Centre in September 2018, the paper explores the daily challenges confronting young people in Mombasa County as they struggle to make ends meet in the face of joblessness, wage theft, nepotism, and political corruption. While the serious threat posed by al-Shabaab cannot be ignored, the paper argues that the overriding drive to prevent violent extremism among Kenyan youth, especially in Muslim and Somali communities, is not only disproportionate but also counterproductive, threatening to overshadow the overwhelming need for economic justice, governance accountability, and reform.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Youth, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Saïbou Issa, Nadine Machikou
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: In August 2018, a regional strategy for the stabilization, recovery, and resilience of the Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin was adopted, which recognizes the interrelated experiences of communities surrounding the Lake Chad Basin and the benefits of a common approach. The strategy sets out nine priority pillars for action to generate applicable policies and programs geared toward the short- and long-term stabilization and development of the region, including on the handling of individuals associated with Boko Haram. This policy brief assesses Cameroon’s strategies and policies for reintegrating associates of Boko Haram against the recently adopted Lake Chad Basin regional stabilization strategy, the realities experienced by Boko Haram-affected communities, and the experiences of individuals detained on account of their associations. For comparative purposes, references to the experience of Niger are included. Co-authored by academic experts, the brief offers a set of recommendations promoting a cohesive approach, calling for government action, and recognizing the role of communities at the forefront of reintegration efforts. // En août 2018, une stratégie régionale a été adoptée pour la stabilisation, le rétablissement et la résilience des zones du bassin du lac Tchad touchées par Boko Haram. Elle reconnaît les expériences interdépendantes des communautés riveraines du bassin du lac Tchad et les avantages d'une approche commune. La stratégie repose sur neuf piliers prioritaires et vise à élaborer des politiques et des programmes pertinents pour garantir, à court et à moyen terme, la stabilisation et le dével­oppement de la région du bassin du lac Tchad, y compris la gestion et la prise en charge des ex-associées de Boko Haram. La présente note politique évalue les stratégies et les politiques du Cameroun visant à réintégrer les ex-associés de Boko Haram par rapport à la stratégie régionale de stabilisation du bassin du lac Tchad récemment adoptée, les réalités vécues par les communautés touchées par Boko Haram, et celles des personnes détenues en raison de leurs associations. Des références à l'expérience du Niger sont présentées aux fins de comparaison. Rédigé en collaboration avec des universitaires, le document propose une série de recommandations favorisant une approche cohérente, engageant le gouvernement à agir et reconnaissant le rôle des communautés au premier plan des efforts de réinsertion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Violent Extremism, Radicalization, Transitional Justice, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon, Central Africa
  • 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: Matthew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the oft-under examined question of state-perpetrated violence and its treatment within the global preventing and countering violence extremism (PCVE) agenda. While there has been a gradual recognition that human rights, good governance and human security are critical factors in violence prevention, PCVE policy and programming continues to focus on addressing only violence associated with specific radical ideas and is overwhelming centered on individuals and communities of particular identity groups. This agenda often obscures and disregards substantial levels of violence perpetrated by states and other actors. Against the backdrop of growing body of work highlighting the biases, inconsistencies and assumptions of mainstream radicalization theory over the past decade, a paradigm shift is long overdue. To that end, this policy brief highlights the intersections of political violence, violent extremism, and human insecurity through a series of thematic vignettes on corruption, human rights abuses, and war-making. illustrating ways in which state conduct plays a central role in manifesting or escalating political violence from which violent extremism and terrorism emerge. Recognizing the scale and magnitude of state-perpetrated violence and its role in manifesting further violence is essential for charting a new course toward a more holistic response to violent extremism that adequately accounts for and responds to a wider spectrum of political violence, including the violence perpetrated by states.
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice, State Violence, Impunity
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Libya, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Eelco Kessels, Melissa Lefas, Junko Nozawa, Tinka M. Veldhuis, Eva Entenmann, Liesbeth van der Heide
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Children have always been among the most vulnerable victims of violence and, at times, some of its brutal purveyors. They have played various roles in furthering violent extremism and participating in acts of violence, ranging from inciting propaganda online to carrying out deadly attacks. Rather than exceptionalizing these children, their treatment under the criminal justice system should be grounded in juvenile justice standards. To advance the work of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), the government of Australia commissioned the Global Center and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT) to prepare a report and accompanying policy brief putting forward guiding principles, recommendations, and considerations for the detention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of juveniles convicted of terrorism and violent extremism offenses. Together, they advance a juvenile justice approach for authorities responsible for the care of juvenile violent extremist offenders and support the notion that national security interests and juvenile justice imperatives are compatible and mutually reinforcing in preventing and countering violent extremism. Responding to a call from the GCTF Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context to collect and collate information on children engaged in terrorism-related activity, the report takes stock of theory, policies, and practice globally. The recommendations draw from international juvenile justice standards, the emerging body of principles and practices in the detention of adult violent extremist offenders, and the national experiences in demobilizing and reintegrating child combatants and members of organized criminal groups. The report elaborates on the policy brief that was formally adopted by the GCTF in December 2016. The policy brief was adapted for publication in EuroVista’s Probation and Community Justice Journal, available at http://euro-vista.org/.
  • Topic: Prisons/Penal Systems, Children, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization, Islamic State, Youth, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, Middle East, Somalia, Mali, Global Focus, The Hague