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  • Author: Sebastien Feve, David Dews
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This report contains a comparative evaluation of national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism, to explore how they reflect recommendations and good practices outlined by the United Nations. Drawing upon a sample of 19 national strategies, the report analyzes the procedures and standards of policy planning that underpin the development of countries’ strategies. Using the guidelines of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism’s “Reference Guide: Developing National and Regional Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism” as a common analytical framework, the report is organized around the six procedural components outlined therein as essential in developing inclusive, context-specific, and robust national strategies. Analyzing national strategies against this framework, the report explores whether the procedures and considerations that led to the development of countries’ national strategies meet this standard. Based on this comparative analysis, the report provides a number of recommendations related to each of the six procedural components analyzed. It is hoped that these recommendations will help guide countries as they develop new or optimize existing strategies in line with international norms and common standards of promising practice and in turn design more effective national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, International Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, United Nations, Lebanon, Albania, Switzerland, Sweden, Nigeria, Somalia, Montenegro, Austria, Maldives, United States of America
  • 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: 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: Christopher Dean, Eelco Kessels
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Compendium of Good Practices in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders presents good and promising practices in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders (VEOs) in correctional settings, while also discussing how practices related to prison regime, security, intelligence, and risk assessment can impact these two processes. The compilation endeavors to (1) inform understanding and improve decision-making regarding the implementation of approaches for the rehabilitation and reintegration of VEOs, specifically in the correctional services of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, although it has value in other jurisdictions; (2) integrate established with emerging promising practices in this field; (3) translate key existing documents into an applied and accessible resource for use by various stakeholders; and (4) include good and promising practices associated with women, juveniles, and foreign fighters convicted of terrorism offenses, and prison and probation services where issues associated with violent extremism may be less frequent. Good and promising practices for this compendium have been compiled from handbooks, reports, and papers that have previously addressed the issue of effectively rehabilitating and reintegrating VEOs in correctional settings, as well as from practical, on-the-ground experience. The compendium is housed on a separate website that contains an overview of the key promising practices for the different sections of the compendium. The compendium is accompanied by a Good Practices Guide, which lists a range of key questions for prison services to explore as they develop, evaluate, and update their approaches to managing VEOs and identifying and addressing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Prisons/Penal Systems, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, North America, New Zealand, AustralAsia, United States of America
  • Author: Rafia Bhulai, Christina Nemr
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: As policymakers and practitioners in Southeast Asia increasingly recognize the importance of investing in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) measures, it is critical to integrate a gender analysis when developing related national action plans, strategies, and programs. This policy brief examines examines key challenges, gaps, and needs of national and regional stakeholders and concludes with recommendations for these actors to consider in advancing gender sensitive P/CVE policy and practice in the region. The brief draws on desk research and extensive consultations with a range of civil society actors, experts, policymakers, and practitioners from the region, including a regional workshop and gender-sensitive P/CVE projects undertaken by local civil society organizations, supported by the Global Center and the government of the Netherlands.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • 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: Sebastien Feve, Mohammed Elshimi
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief establishes a framework to develop and evaluate National Action Plans (NAPs) on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). Based on the key good practice components identified in international literature on NAPs across policy fields ranging from sustainable development to tuberculosis control, this framework aims to improve approaches to P/CVE strategic planning by national authorities. It may enable a range of stakeholders to better assess the strengths and weaknesses of new or existing P/CVE NAPs, as well as provide basic guidelines to support and further improve their development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, National Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Civil society organizations represent a bulwark against violent extremism. Within South and Central Asia, a vibrant and independent civil society has been working to tackle many of the ongoing development, political, and socioeconomic challenges that often give rise to an environment conducive to violent extremism. Civil society’s role in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) will become even more critical as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to lose territory in Iraq and Syria. Civil society organizations across South and Central Asia, many of which focus on development, conflict prevention, peace-building, and human rights, have leveraged their experience in these areas to develop innovative P/CVE programs targeting a broad spectrum of issues confronting their communities. These initiatives include producing educational entertainment that challenges extremist narratives, improving relationships between communities and local government, and promoting research and understanding to better recognize local factors contributing to the spread of violent radicalization. To help advance these efforts, the Global Center with support from the U.S. Department of State, undertook a two-year program to support civil society organizations in South and Central Asia in the development of contextually tailored and locally relevant responses to violent extremism. This report highlights the initiatives undertaken by these organizations and captures the key lessons, good practices, and insights gained throughout the program. It concludes with key recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and donors to consider as they look to initiate or increase support for P/CVE initiatives in South and Central Asia.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Alistair Millar
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) was established in 2004 with the core mission of supporting the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in monitoring the implementation of counterterrorism obligations required by Security Council Resolution 1373 and facilitating technical assistance to member states to aid their implementation activities. Since 2004, however, CTED’s mandate has expanded considerably in response to the evolution of the threat and the increased number of stakeholders benefiting from CTED assessments and analyses, a group that includes not only the council itself, but also UN member states in general, regional and functional organizations, and other counterterrorism-relevant entities inside and outside the UN system. CTED’s current mandate, which authorizes it to continue operating as a Special Political Mission, expires at the end of 2017. CTED’s new Executive Director, Michèle Coninsx, was appointed in August 2017 and is expected to take up her duties in November. The mandate renewal and new Executive Director’s appointment offer opportunities to consider CTED’s future activities and focus at a time when the organizational, policy, and threat landscapes differ greatly from those that existed when it was established in 2004 and its last mandate was extended at the end of 2013. This policy brief looks at CTED’s role in light of the need to maintain and strengthen its comparative advantage in assessing member states’ counterterrorism efforts while addressing existing and emerging threats of terrorism and aligning its working methodologies with these developments. It also assesses what CTED and the CTC can do to enhance coordination with partners within and outside the UN system. It then examines the benefits and limitations of CTED’s outputs in relation to its mandate, comparative advantage, capacity, and impact, and concludes by offering some ideas and recommendations for the Security Council, the CTC, and CTED to consider for the next four years and beyond.
  • Topic: United Nations, International Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • 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