Engaging Civil Society in Countering Violent Extremism

Published: August 2012

In this research paper from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, Dr. Bibi van Ginkel takes an in depth look at how multilateral institutions engage with civil society to counter violent extremism.

Dr. van Ginkel argues that civil society can play a crucial role in preventing and countering violent extremism in numerous ways – by working on development programs, through their work in conflict transformation, in providing a platform to raise political grievances and to facilitate dialogue, or through their work in empowering victims and survivors of terrorism.

The paper finds that over the last decade there has been a more intensive coordination of activities between the UN and other multilateral organisations and civil society but the question remains whether the implementation as well as the drafting of these policies will live up to their potential effectiveness. This paper gauges how effective these measures have been and what more there is to do. The final section concludes with a series of policy recommendations.