IMPACT Europe news digest [#6]

Welcome to the sixth instalment of the IMPACT Europe news digest. Through this series, the IMPACT Europe team will endeavour to present you with a selection of news, commentaries, journals 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.


ICSR Report – Pain, Confusion, Anger, and Shame: The Stories of Islamic State Families

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence

This recently published report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence takes as its focus the families of those jihadists who have left their homes to join the Islamic State. Throughout the report, researchers strive to identify common themes and narratives in the experiences of affected families. The rationale being that of identifying recurring patterns that could broaden our understanding of (i) how families are affected by radicalisation, and (ii) how they may be better supported to lead in the fight against violent extremism. Based on an analysis of 46 publicly available accounts of families from 17 countries, four key themes emerge from these stories: pain, confusion, anger and shame.


A Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism


In the month of May, UNESCO released a Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism. The Guide was developed in response to the request by UNESCO’s Member States for greater support to their education sectors in addressing the growth of radicalisation and violent extremism. The Guide, which was reviewed by a number of international experts in the field of education, represents UNESCO’s first contribution to the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
In its pages, the Guide offers practical tips to help educators foster an inclusive classroom environment, promote respectful dialogue and critical thinking, and guide discussions around frequently asked questions. So far, the guide has been made available in English; translations into French and other languages are scheduled for the imminent future.  Furthermore, in September 2016, the Guide will be further complemented by a guidance document targeting policy-makers within ministries of education.


Determining the Role of the Internet in Violent Extremism and Terrorism: Six Suggestions for Progressing Research

Maria Conway on Studies in Conflict and Terrorism

From the journal abstract: Some scholars and others are sceptical of a significant role for the Internet in processes of violent radicalization. There is increasing concern on the part of other scholars, and increasingly also policymakers and publics, that easy availability of violent extremist content online may have violent radicalizing effects. This article identifies a number of core questions regarding the interaction of violent extremism and terrorism and the Internet, particularly social media, that have yet to be adequately addressed and supplies a series of six follow-up suggestions, flowing from these questions, for progressing research in this area. These suggestions relate to (1) widening the range of types of violent online extremism being studied beyond violent jihadis; (2) engaging in more comparative research, not just across ideologies, but also groups, countries, languages, and social media platforms; (3) deepening our analyses to include interviewing and virtual ethnographic approaches; (4) up-scaling or improving our capacity to undertake “big data” collection and analysis; (5) outreaching beyond terrorism studies to become acquainted with, for example, the Internet Studies literature and engaging in interdisciplinary research with, for example, computer scientists; and (6) paying more attention to gender as a factor in violent online extremism.


European Parliament hosts debate on the processes and factors that drive radicalisation in Europe

European Parliament News

On 19 April, the European Parliament and the non-governmental organisation People in Need hosted a debate in Brussels to discuss the factors that drive people to radicalisation and violent extremism. The event brought together MEPs, journalists, documentary filmmakers and other members of civil society. At the event, attendees discussed a broad range of topics, including: definitional-challenges associated with the notion of jihad, processes by which people in Europe become radicalised, sharia law and the situation of women. In particular, participants debated the extent of the role played by religion in radicalisation processes, and the ways in which religion is used to promote this phenomenon. As part of the One World Film Festival, the event featured also a screening of My Jihad, a documentary film examining how Belgian communities are trying to prevent radicalisation among their young people.




  • Emerging Developments in the study of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
    Society for Terrorism Research – Inaugural Postgraduate Conference
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    7 June 2016

Registration for this event is now open.

  • Counter-Terrorism Research and Practice: Addressing Key Challenges
    Society for Terrorism Research – 10th Annual International Conference
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    7-9 November 2016

The Call for Papers is open, the deadline for submission of Papers/Symposia proposals is 15 June 2016.