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Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Global Violent Extremism

This U.S.-Islamic World Forum paper discusses the role of Pakistani civil society organizations (CSOs) in countering violent extremism (CVE). CSOs have taken the lead in CVE as a result of the government of Pakistan’s inability to do so. Despite the development of innovative, grassroots peacebuilding initiatives to counter violent extremism, CSOs’ social, financial, and political challenges preclude them from creating a nationwide movement. This report discusses these challenges, and offers suggestions on what can be done by the United States and the international community to combat them. Recommendations for developing national and provincial strategies to empower civil society’s CVE efforts are also made. Read full paper.

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January Newsletter–DDR and Armed Non-State Actors: The Times, They Are a Changin’
Photo credit: United Nations
Photo credit: United Nations

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) has been around since wars began and during the past 30+ years it has become downright de rigueur in the field of peacebuiding. (Not familiar with these three letters? Then you are clearly a peacebuilding neophyte.) DDR seems like a no-brainer: 1) take away fighters’ weapons; 2) discharge them from their armed groups; and 3) provide them with technical and/or financial assistance so they can successfully return to civilian status. However, it’s most definitely not so simple. And if you don’t agree, you should be banned from even uttering “DDR”.

GC360 has selected three articles that guarantee you will never be accused of DDR neophytism again.  (And for those weaned on DDR, reading them will make you that much smarter.) You’ll learn about the challenges inherent in designing appropriate DDR programs, why ANSAs can be actually be good for governance, how the D’s, somewhat counter-intuitively, can threaten the entire process, the role legitimacy plays in DDR, etc. etc. Two of the recommended readings are country-specific (Myanmar and Mozambique) providing concrete, real world examples. We at GC360 just looove that stuff!

Btw, when “n-e-o-p-h-y-t-i-s-m” solves your next crossword challenge, no need to thank us. 🙂

Read the January Newsletter | Click Here to Subscribe

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Meet the Nigerian woman taking on Boko Haram

This article discusses the efforts of activist Hafsat Mohammed to promote the countering of violent extremism of Boko Haram within her community in Nigeria by empowering youth and getting local leaders involved. She notes the importance of working with religious leaders in particular seeing them as change agents. Through ongoing violence, Hafsat Mohammed believes that discussion and ideologies of hope and peace have a profound impact on combatting anger and frustration, especially from young men who are typically more vulnerable to being lured by the group. Women like Hafsat Mohammed, who often have had direct experience with conflict and violent encounters, have become essential voices through their roles in countering violent extremism despite the challenges of cultural backlash and the reality of threats to their own safety. Read full article.

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‘Once and for all’: Women are essential to global stability

This article discusses the evolution of the global debate concerning security and the role of women in it beginning with the Fourth UN Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. Hunt highlights the conference’s message of inclusive security, noting its alignment with American thinker Joseph Nye’s “soft power” paradigm that was being developed during the same time period. While business and social science research as well as data concerning women working across lines of conflict support the validity of this security concept, 20 years later, obstacles to fully implementing it still remain. Hunt discusses these challenges as well as steps that should be taken to overcome them such as countries developing national action plans in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Read full article.

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