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Call for Proposals – “Confronting and Countering Violent Extremism in South East Europe: The State of Play”

The 22nd Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), New York, 4-6 May 2017

Panel organizers: Valery Perry, Soeren Keil

Efforts to prevent or counter violent extremism (PVE/CVE) have grown in prominence over the past several years as political leaders globally react to popular domestic fears and security concerns related both to returning foreign terrorist fighters and home-grown radicalized individuals willing to use violence. Attacks in Nice, Brussels, Berlin, Orlando and other parts of the trans-Atlantic orbit have increased insecurity and led to rising isolationism in many countries, as well as the rise of rightward leaning parties. Domestic fears have had an impact on refugee and migration polices, have contributed to Brexit and other anti-EU sentiments and threaten to jeopardize integration and assimilation efforts.

The countries of South East Europe are no exception, and over the past two years a number of programs have begun to be supported by embassies and international organizations such as the OSCE, the IOM and others. However, while program funds are being sought and disbursed, there is to date scant evidence of what works. Further, there is little agreement on defining the issue, the source or scope of the challenge or the needed remedies and approaches.

This panel will begin to examine these issues, inviting papers that explore questions such as the following:

  • What is the extent of or potential for extremism and violent extremism in the region? How can this be measured? Is the threat primarily localized/domestic or more a matter of potential export?
  • What is the range of extremist groups in the region? Are they increasing in number and in their membership? How does the rise of extremists of one type/group fuel the rise of other extremist groups?
  • Is the nature of Balkan Islam changing due to new interpretations of Islam, and what does this contribute to understanding individual or community adoption of extremist views? What impact do such trends have on emerging democracies generally?
  • How can countries that already face challenges in providing effective education, social-welfare services, psychological treatment to their citizens meet these new challenges?
  • How can countries with weak democratic traditions address these threats without threatening civil society, civic dissent and diversity? How can authoritarian impulses best be resisted?
  • How can governments with varying degrees of police, judicial and prison reform and development meet the challenges of radicalization and deradicalization?
  • How can communities be made more resilient in fragile countries with weak ties between citizens and the government?
  • Are there links between corruption and ineffective/unresponsive governance and the rise of radicalized individuals?
  • Which international organizations and NGOs have demonstrated capacity in this field, and what lessons may be learned? What are the risks of too heavy a focus on this issue?

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one paragraph) biographical summary to both and by October 20, 2016. All authors selected to participate will be expected to secure their own funding to attend ASN.

For further information click on this link.

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