- Main applicant: Dr. B.T. van Ginkel (Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’, The Netherlands)
- Co-applicants: Professor M. Akgün (Istanbul Kültür University, Turkey), J. Abdulla (Human Security Collective, The Netherlands), Ms R. Allam (Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Egypt), Mr K. Othman (Salahadeen University, Kurdistan), Mr S. Walid (The Center for Democracy and Community Development, Israel)
Violent extremism has evolved into a transnational threat, impacting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond. An inclusive and comprehensive human security approach can alleviate, contain and prevent violent extremism, but is failing to be implemented due to the trust deficit between communities and the security sector as well as the shrinking of civic space, often due to counterterrorism measures. The objectives of this research include: validating the push and pull factors of radicalization; gaining contextspecific insights into how human security is defined; providing insight into conditions for engagement (communities and security stakeholders); producing evidence on how this engagement leads to joint implementation of an human security-approach on combatting violent extremism; producing context-specific evidence on how an human security-approach can prevent violent extremism; demonstrating impact of the human security-approach to policymakers; providing insight into the context-specific roles of women in combatting violent extremism; developing effective combatting violent extremism -policies based on an human security-approach that diminish the support base for violent extremism in communities (multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder). Iraq, Egypt and Palestine together present a complementary picture given there are significant differences in terms of push/pull factors leading to violent extremism, civic space, trust levels between government and citizens, and the roles and position of women as change agents. The role of context in a human security-approach is thus amplified. The research will validate the push/pull factors and demonstrate the efficacy of a human security-approach in preventing violent extremism through engaging local communities. It will involve learning exchange and development at the local level, and connect the community with (inter)national security stakeholders relevant to combatting violent extremism.