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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: Junko Nozawa, Melissa Lefas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: In the Sahel, weak law enforcement capacities, vast ungoverned territories, and underdeveloped criminal justice systems have contributed to the proliferation of nonstate armed groups, with the military placed at the forefront of suppression efforts. A number of issues arise in the adjudication of terrorism cases. Ambiguities in the law persist where the protective framework of minors conflict with repressive antiterrorism framework; understaffed courts are burdened by a large caseload, while individuals detained en masse face criminal sanctions that may not always be proportional to the gravity of the offense. Judicial investigations are further hampered by a lack of cooperation with military actors and coordinated efforts to preserve evidence on the battlefield. To affirm the primacy of the criminal justice framework, the chief justices of the Sahel supreme courts unanimously adopted a set of recommendations on 2 March 2018 in Dakar, Senegal. This report presents the legal responses to terrorism in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal and discusses international standards articulated in the field, providing comparative analysis and commentary. It features contributions from supreme court justices from France, Niger, Mali and Senegal. The report forms part of a program on “Counter-Terrorism Criminal Justice Support to Senior Judicial Officials” shaped by a steering committee comprised of supreme court justices and implemented in partnership with UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Association of Francophone Supreme Courts, and funded by the International Organisation of la Francophonie and the governments of Canada and Japan. // Dans le Sahel, les faibles capacités de la police et la présence limitée des autorités dans les territoires reculés contribuent à l’inefficacité de la justice, et les militaires ont joué le rôle de premiers intervenants. Un certain nombre d'enjeux se posent dans la gestion des affaires de terrorisme. Les ambiguïtés de la loi persistent là où la protection spéciale accordée aux mineurs entre en conflit avec le cadre antiterroriste ; les cours, déjà surchargées, sont confrontés à un nombre croissant de dossiers de terrorisme et les accusés font l'objet de sanctions pénales qui ne sont pas toujours proportionnelles à la gravité du délit ou crime. Au niveau de l’enquête, les magistrats ont déploré la piètre qualité de la gestion des éléments de preuve par les premiers intervenants sur le champ de bataille. Affirmant la primauté du cadre de justice pénale, les premiers présidents des cours suprêmes des pays du Sahel ont adopté à l'unanimité des recommandations dans la matière le 2 mars 2018 à Dakar, au Sénégal. Ce rapport présente les réponses judiciaires au terrorisme au Burkina Faso, au Mali, en Mauritanie, au Niger, au Sénégal, et au Tchad, et évoque des normes internationales développées dans la matière tout en fournissant une analyse et des commentaires comparatifs. Le rapport présente des contributions de magistrats des cours suprême de la France, du Niger, du Mali et du Sénégal, comprenant des membres d’un comité de pilotage dans le programme sur « Les cours suprêmes dans la prévention et la lutte contre le terrorisme ». Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui et l’expertise de la Direction exécutive du Comité contre le terrorisme, de l’Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime (ONUDC), de l’Association des Hautes Juridictions de Cassation des pays ayant en partage l’usage du français (AHJUCAF), et a bénéficié du soutien financier de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) et des gouvernements canadien et japonais.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism, United Nations, Courts, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, Senegal, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • 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
  • Author: Eric Rosand
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Local, rather than national actors, are often better positioned to prevent the spread of violent extremism within their communities, including by identifying early signs of radicalization and intervening before it leads to the kind of violence we continue to see far too often in cities around the world. Supporting and sustaining such efforts globally requires, among other things, updating the international architecture for addressing terrorism and violent extremism, which has been focused almost entirely on national governments and driven by their security concerns. This policy brief highlights how multilateral fora like the United Nations and Global Counterterrorism Forum need to enhance the involvement of community-level actors in their counterterrorism and CVE discussions. More fundamentally, however, the brief calls for developing and supporting a durable sub-national cooperation architecture to facilitate collaboration and networking among the growing numbers of local actors contributing to CVE efforts. It also argues for more space for subnational actors and non-traditional stakeholders within national counterterrorism strategies to ensure inclusive and well-informed CVE approaches are central parts of such frameworks.
  • Topic: Civil Society, International Cooperation, United Nations, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Eelco Kessels, Tracey Durner, Matthew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Despite the Greater Horn of Africa’s reputation as one of the most conflict-affected parts of the world, the rise of extremist political violence in recent years has led to a heightened sense of insecurity in the subregion. Observers have increasingly raised concerns about the subregion’s potential vulnerability to violent extremism and the ongoing threat posed by al-Shabaab in Somalia. Preventing and countering violent extremism (CVE) in the Greater Horn has become a key priority for a growing community of national, regional, and international stakeholders. This report provides an overarching survey of regional and national drivers of violent extremism and other sources of insecurity in the Greater Horn, and provides an overview of responses by government and civil society actors in a subset of countries in the subregion: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Part of a broader program to strengthen regional CVE capacities supported by the U.S. Department of State, the report offers strategic and policy-related insights for CVE stakeholders and highlights the need for holistic strategies that support inclusive and sustainable responses to violent extremism. While acknowledging the troubling evolution of violent extremism in the region over the past decade, the authors emphasize that drivers and conditions that contribute to violent extremism are not dissimilar to those that have long been recognized as drivers of other forms of political violence. Violent extremism in the Greater Horn of Africa, regardless of the identity or label applied to the perpetrators, is symptomatic of deeply complex and long-standing political, economic, and social problems. Accountable, people-centered and people-led governance; economic, political, and social inclusion; access to justice and effective avenues of redress; and equitable distribution of public goods lie at the heart of achieving sustainable peace and reconciliation and reducing susceptibility to violent extremist ideologies and organizations. In conjunction with the Global Center’s 2015 report Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Community Resilience in the Greater Horn of Africa: An Action Agenda, this report provides crucial contextual insight to regional challenges and input to inform the design of more effective national initiatives to prevent and counter violent extremism.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Djibouti, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Sara Zeiger, Rafia Bhulai, Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Sahana Dharmapuri, Edit Schlaffer, Ulrich Kropiunigg, Jayne Huckerby, 'Kemi Okenyodo, Mariam Safi, Erin Marie Saltman, Ross Frenett, Guillaume de Saint Marc, Stephane Lacombe
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: In recent years, the role of women in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) has gained momentum in the international counterterrorism policy discourse. Several questions emerge when discussing the particulars of why and how women partake in both violent extremism and P/CVE efforts. For example, what are the different roles that women can undertake in a terrorist organization? Are females recruited differently than their male counterparts? What roles do they play in inciting or persuading others to join violent extremist groups? Is there a particular role for women in countering terrorism and P/CVE? Are specific policies aimed at women a necessity moving forward? How can a gender analysis be effectively integrated into P/CVE policy and programming? The collection of essays contained in this edited volume by the Global Center and Hedayah seeks to build the body of literature on women and P/CVE by drawing on examples from a number of countries and regions. The essays contain both policy-level recommendations as well as programmatic suggestions, and seek to answer some of the outstanding questions regarding the types of roles women might play in P/CVE efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Nigeria
  • Author: Eelco Kessels, Christina Nemr
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: It is well documented that economic and social development are better attained in the absence of violent conflict. Relatedly, a consensus is building that violent extremism and terrorism are both international security and development issues. However, a gap remains between the policies, practices, and tools used by those concerned with international security and those responsible for stabilization and development cooperation. The gap exists at an organizational level within governments and other bureaucracies and in implementation of programming on the ground. An integrated approach has the potential to play a stronger role in strengthening community resilience against violent extremism and reducing many of its enabling factors. This policy brief examines the nexus between countering violent extremism and development assistance, looking specifically at opportunities and risks, different approaches taken by donor organizations, and the impact on programs and implementers. It highlights lessons learned and emerging practices, and provides recommendations that could increase their efficiency and impact.
  • Topic: Development, International Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Middle East, Norway, Denmark, United Nations, Australia, United States of America, European Union