Research consortium

  • Main applicant: Dr. L.G.H. Bakker (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Co-applicants: Professor K. Mohammed (Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Nigeria), Dr. J. Fontein (British Institute in Eastern Africa, Kenya), Dr. N. Azca (Centre for Security and Peace Studies, Universitas Gajah Mada, Indonesia), M. Kiriro (Ghetto Foundation, Kenya), Dr. K. Witsenburg (OtherWise, The Netherlands), D. Aliah (Yayasan Prasati Perdamaian), Indonesia

Project information

The project will undertake a multi-sited, multi-level comparative exploration of the role played by non-state security groups in the provision of ‘human security’ in Fragile and Conflict-affected states in contexts of violent religious extremism. Such extremism is experienced daily in Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia, where Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and IS put chronic pressures on local communities. In the absence of effective state interventions, local non-state security groups have emerged resisting extremism by deploying defense, policing, governance and development activities. The project seeks to deliver new evidence-based insights into the broader societal support, effect, critique and understanding of such activities by: 1) analyzing non-state security groups discourse and properties, particularly concerning their potential for violence, in relation to discourses of local community stakeholders; 2) identifying and characterizing non-state security groups -government relations, including particular in terms of legitimacy and sovereignty, 3) analyzing the interplays between local, national and transnational levels of legitimacy, security provision and development, 4) formulating a dynamic theory of change concerning the developmental role of non-state security groups in dealing with extremist threat, 5) formulating a policy-oriented comparative typologization of non-state security groups actors, activities and agency, and 6) formulating countryspecific policy recommendations for the inclusion of non-state security groups in security provision. The project will therefore not only add to existing knowledge about non-state security groups in both a country-specific and a comparative manner, but will also challenge current mainstream policy assumptions about the necessity to deal with such groups violently, highlighting how their legitimacy and potential for inclusion within security governance arrangements can vary contextually.

Project results