IMPACT Europe News Digest [#15]
Welcome to the fifteenth installment of the IMPACT Europe news digest. Through this series, the IMPACT Europe team will endeavour to present you with a selection of news, commentaries, journal articles and web materials relating to research and policy developments touching on the subject matters underpinning IMPACT Europe’s project’s mission. To receive the latest updates on IMPACT Europe’s research, dissemination and outreach activities you can follow our Twitter account (@impacteurope) or sign up to our quarterly newsletter through our homepage.
NEWS & PUBLICATIONS
EU auditors examine anti-radicalisation measures
European Court of Auditors
An audit of the European Commission’s contribution to anti-radicalisation measures will be carried out later this year by the European Court of Auditors. Although member states have primary responsibility for tackling radicalisation that may lead to terrorism, the EU aims to support them in this by facilitating better cooperation and the exchange of information, and by providing funding. The audit therefore seeks to examine the added value that the EU brings to efforts by member states, and will focus on the Commission’s work since 2013, when tackling the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters became the EU’s highest counter-terrorism priority.
Defeating Ideologically Inspired Violent Extremism: A Strategy to Build Strong Communities and Protect the U.S. Homeland
The Washington Institute
This policy note, prepared by a bipartisan study group at the Washington Institute, offers a ‘transition paper’ to guide the new Trump administration in the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE) in the United States. The paper argues that P/CVE should not be seen as a ‘soft’ alternative to counter-terrorism, but as a crucial first line of defence for tackling homegrown radicalisation to violent extremism alongside traditional law enforcement measures. Arguing against the securitisation of P/CVE efforts, the authors advocate that P/CVE activities should be community-led, and that national and local policy should empower and incentivise local community actors to take a proactive role in preventing and countering violent extremism. The policy note recommends the use of P/CVE as a term encompassing the full spectrum of activities aiming to prevent and counter radicalisation to violent extremism. Nonetheless, the authors underline the importance of distinguishing between: i) community-led preventative efforts focussed on the resilience of the community as a whole; ii) specific interventions targeting individuals who are identified as undergoing a process of radicalisation; and iii) rehabilitative and reintegration programs for radicalised individuals re-entering society, such as violent extremist offenders and returned foreign fighters. The recommendations presented in the policy note relate to a broad range of extremist ideologies, both religious and politically motivated.
Countering Violent Extremism: A guide for young people by young people
This report presents the experiences of ten young people who have led efforts to counter violent extremist ideologies. These young leaders represent a diversity of religious, ethnic, and professional backgrounds, and have harnessed a variety of skills, knowledge and approaches in the pursuit of promoting societal cohesion and resilience. Their stories highlight particular issues encountered in youth-led P/CVE work, and provide key messages and practical guidance that other young people can follow in order to help prevent the spread of violent extremism among their peers. Finally, this guide offers a list of further resources to inform youth-led P/CVE work.
IS Propaganda: Should We Counter the Narrative?
International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague
In this perspective piece, Dr Alistair Reed questions the effectiveness of counter-narrative campaigns that aim to tackle the spread of violent extremist ideologies by responding to and countering the claims made by terrorist propaganda. Arguing that counter-narratives are inherently ‘defensive’, the author suggests that this kind of messaging allows debate to take place on violent extremists’ own terms, and can even help reinforce the narratives constructed by terrorist groups. Drawing on historical examples, Reed advocates for the use of more ‘offensive’ communication campaigns. According to the author, a more ‘offensive’ strategy would force the opposition’s messaging onto the back foot, regain control and reframe the debate in terms of the narratives that counter-violent extremism campaigns aim to promote.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
- Building Resilience to Radicalisation and Violent Extremism II
Strong Cities Network Global Summit 2017
17-19 May 2017, Aarhus, Denmark
- Preventing and tackling violent extremism – what works best?
IMPACT Europe conference
31 May 2017, Brussels, Belgium
- Prevention and Integration
22nd German COngress on Crime Prevention (GCOCP) with the 11th Annual International Forum (AIF)
19-20 June 2017, Hannover, Germany
[Image shared by Transparency International EU Office via Flickr; CC BY 2.0]