As the Balkans are currently back in the international spotlight, attention has returned to peacebuilding in the region. This is an opportunity to link peacebuilding with a topic high on the international agenda: violent extremism.
The Berghof Foundation’s latest study set out to understand what made certain communities resilient to violent extremism, while others where less so despite similar socio-economic, ideological and political contexts.
The research also looked at the links between preventing violent extremism programming and peacebuilding. It found that viewing the prevention of violent extremism through a peacebuilding lens also implies the need to invest in systemic conflict analysis tools specifically tailored to transforming violent extremism.
Analysing and comparing communities’ characteristics in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia, led to the following key findings:
The following recommendations for programming aimed at preventing violent extremism, in the region and elsewhere, stand out based on this research:
Community Perspectives on Preventing Violent Extremism: Lessons learned from the Western Balkans presents insights from a collaborative research project combined with community dialogue initiatives carried out in 2017-18 in four Western Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia.
Through several events (including a presentation at the OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference in Bratislava in March), the researchers are currently engaging in discussions on their research findings and recommendations with practitioners and researchers.
If you want to join the conversation, please contact our project manager Engjellushe Morina.