Promoting Deradicalization and Disengagement from Violent Extremism

The International Peace Institute partnered with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convene experts, practitioners, and United Nations officials for a roundtable conference on “Promoting Deradicalization and Disengagement from Violent Extremism: What Role for the International Community and the UN?”

The event, held on June 23rd, highlighted important critiques, challenges, and successes facing a number of initiatives aimed at persuading detainees to renounce violent behavior or ideologies.

The speakers included:

• Omar Ashour on conditions for successful disengagement from violence;

• Ed Husain on civil society initiatives to counter radicalization, and their impact on deradicalization;
• Peter Neumann on lessons learned from fifteen countries’ experiences with deradicalization in prisons;
• Hamed El Said on presenting case studies from Muslim-majority states;
• Abdulrahman Al-Hadlaq on the national experiences of Saudi Arabia;
• Mohammed Zaini Akhir on the national experiences of Malaysia;
• Jean-Paul Laborde from the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force;
• E.J. Flynn from the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate;
• Francesco Candelari from the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute; and
• Richard Barrett from the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team.

The meeting was opened by Francesco Mancini, Senior Fellow and Director of Research at IPI, and Carl Salicath, representing the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who also moderated the panels, along with Naureen Chowdhury Fink, IPI Senior Policy Analyst.

This roundtable was a follow-up to a very successful conference co-hosted in Amman by IPI, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Arab Thought Forum on “Countering Violent Extremism: Learning from Deradicalization Programs in Some Muslim-majority States,” in March 2010 (read the meeting note). In addition, an earlier conference also co-hosted by IPI and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulted in the report Beyond Terrorism: Deradicalization and Disengagement from Violent Extremism.

A comprehensive report on this topic is being undertaken at IPI and is anticipated in winter 2010.