Transformative Approaches to Violent Extremism

Handbook Dialogue No. 13

Dealing with violent extremism (VE) has emerged as a central framework of analysis and policy-making in most Western and non-Western government agencies. It is also heavily shaping the programming of non-governmental agencies, not least due to the availability of related funding lines.

While there is an undeniable need to address violent extremism, this latest Berghof Handbook Dialogue takes as one premise that more often than not, analysis and programming to date often fall short in understanding and tackling the root causes of the phenomenon. Our lead article proposes: "Ultimately, addressing VE is fundamentally about conflict transformation, yet CVE/PVE interventions are rarely designed to be transformative."

Berghof Handbook Dialogue No. 13 thus looks more deeply at what it takes to formulate transformative approaches to violent extremism. The lead article by Mohammed Abu-Nimer puts a call for interreligious peacebuilding centre-stage, which takes seriously and truly integrates the perspective of actors otherwise often defined as part of the problem. Respondents from a variety of backgrounds will, over the months to come, discuss these propositions. They will shed light on systemic contexts, the role of identity and gender, practice-oriented work with youth and regional contexts such as the Western Balkans and the MENA region.

We gratefully acknowledge funding for this issue of our dialogue series by the German Foreign Office, in the context of their support for our project Preventing Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans.

  • Beatrix Austin and Hans J. Giessmann (eds.): Transformative Approaches to Violent Extremism. 2018. Handbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - complete. (forthcoming)

Single contributions:

  • Mohammed Abu-Nimer: Alternative Approaches to Transforming Violent Extremism. The Case of Islamic Peace and Interreligious Peacebuilding. 2018. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - lead. PDF >

  • Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, "A Gendered Lens on PVE: Challenging Conventional Wisdom, Transforming Current Practices", response (forthcoming)
  • Maral Jekta, "Engaging with whom? Chances and Obstacles of PVE approaches in Germany and Iraq", response (forthcoming)
  • Anita Ernstorfer, "Effective Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Systems Perspective" response (forthcoming)
  • Radwan Al-Sayed, response (forthcoming)
  • ...and more...