Countering Extremism

  • Mitigating Radicalism in Northern Nigeria

    By Michael Olufemi Sodipo, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, August 2013 05-17-2013warcrimesOngoing attacks by Boko Haram and other violent Islamist groups coupled with an at times arbitrary response by Nigeria's security forces have contributed to a deteriorating security situation in the north. Increasingly frequent attacks and bombings also mask longer-running radicalization dynamics. A sustained approach targeting every stage of the radicalization spectrum, from addressing socioeconomic grievances, to cross-cultural peacebuilding initiatives, to rehabilitating radicalized members of violent Islamist groups, as well as a more measured use of force are needed to reverse this broader trend.

    Download Security Brief #26 [PDF] ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

  • Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Violent Extremism

    By Hedieh Mirahmadi, Mehreen Farooq, and Waleed Ziad, World Organization for Resource Development and Education | November 2012 WORDE-AlternativeChannelsToCVEPakistan has for years struggled against violent extremist ideologies that underlay several intrastate conflicts and transnational threats, problems now emerging in Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, and elsewhere in Africa. With weak legitimacy, the Pakistani government’s counter-extremism strategy has achieved little, but religious and secular civil society outfits have initiated their own successful community engagement efforts despite limited organizational management, inter-group connectivity, and personal security. Government efforts to compensate for these shortcomings could produce further counter-extremism successes.

    Download the Article [PDF]

  • Islamic Militancy in Africa

    By Terje Østebø, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, November 2012 Suspected Shabaab Members Captured in Somali Capital

    The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa's historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.

    Download the Security Brief: ENGLISHFRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

  • Africa's Fragile States: Empowering Extremists, Exporting Terrorism

    FragileStatesBy Zachary Devlin-Foltz. Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 2010.

    Persistent reports of extremist activity from across Africa have deepened concern over the spread of radicalism on the continent. Extremists capitalize on political and security vacuums within Africa’s fragile states to grow their support base and consolidate their strength. Stable states that provide opportunities for political participation empower moderates while delegitimating extremists’ use of violence.

    Download the Article [PDF]: ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

  • Islamists in Politics: The Dynamics of Participation

    pjd_morocco By Marina Ottaway and Amr Hamzawy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2008.

    On-going ideological debates within Islamic parties often pit hard-line elements against reformers. When allowed to operate openly, most Islamist parties gradually moderate their agendas in order to widen their base of support. In contrast, politically constricted environments provide few opportunities to win new supporters, leaving Islamist parties to appeal to their base. Download the Article: [PDF]

Other Reads