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Understanding Drivers of Violent Extremism: The Case of Al-Shabab and Somali Youth

This article provides clarity on the driving factors that attract youth to al-Shabab. It argues that identity as manipulated by ideology in the trappings of religion, as well as the perceptions of neglect, combine to drive youth to join the Somali group. This conclusion is based on an extensive review of literature on al-Shabab, including U.S. government documents, and field research in Nairobi, Kenya. The latter included focus group discussions with 15 former al-Shabab members between the ages of 19 and 27 living in Eastleigh—a predominantly Somali suburb of Nairobi. Their membership in al-Shabab ranged from six months to two years. Read full article

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Recommendations for Reducing Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Pakistan

A delegation of four women from Pakistan traveled to Washington, DC, to deliver recommendations on reducing violent extremism and terrorism in Pakistan. Their recommendations aim to increase the recruitment, retention, and professionalization of women in Pakistan’s police forces; strengthen women’s inclusion in mechanisms setting Pakistan’s strategic priorities, such as the National Internal Security Policy (NISP), the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), and all negotiations to end violent extremism; and expand US support for, and promotion of, indigenous, women-led initiatives in Pakistan that aim to counter violent extremism. Download publication

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Recommendations for a Sustainable and Just Peace in Syria

In advance of the UN General Assembly Ministerial, a delegation of five Syrian women representing the Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy, Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria, and women of the Local Councils convened to discuss concrete steps to construct a more inclusive political transition, improve humanitarian access, and strengthen protections for human rights. They sought to engage in constructive dialogue with international and regional actors as well as recommend effective solutions, grounded in the needs of local communities. The following recommendations were developed by this diverse group of Syrian women from different geographic areas within Syria, representing broad civil society networks comprised of individuals and organizations. These networks have operated with a commitment to reviving a sustainable, peaceful political process and to inclusion of women and civil society in all stages of the transition.  Download publication

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Global Center on Cooperative Security: Women

The Global Center works with governments, international organizations, and civil society to develop and implement comprehensive and sustainable responses to complex international security challenges through collaborative policy research, context-sensitive programming, and capacity development. In collaboration with a global network of expert practitioners and partner organizations, the Global Center fosters stronger multilateral partnerships and convenes key stakeholders to support integrated and inclusive security policies across national, regional, and global levels.

The Global Center focuses on four thematic areas of programming and engagement:

  • multilateral security policy
  • countering violent extremism
  • criminal justice and the rule of law
  • financial integrity and inclusion

Across these areas, the Global Center prioritizes partnerships with national and regional stakeholders and works to ensure respect for human rights and empower those affected by transnational violence and criminality to inform international action.

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