Countering extremism while maintaining democracy


FILE - This file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, which is consistent with AP reporting, shows a convoy of vehicles and fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in Iraq's Anbar Province. The Islamic State was originally al-Qaida's branch in Iraq, but it used Syria's civil war to vault into something more powerful. It defied orders from al-Qaida's central command and expanded its operations into Syria, ostensibly to fight to topple Assad. But it has turned mainly to conquering territory for itself, often battling other rebels who stand in the way. (AP Photo/militant website, File)

Democracies increasingly face a conundrum: how to counter violent extremism while maintaining democratic institutions and civil liberties, analysts suggest.

Violent extremism is one of the principal challenges that emanate from fragile states which U.S. development and humanitarian assistance efforts are increasingly dedicated to addressing, notes Alex Thier, incoming executive director at the Overseas Development Institute and former head of policy, planning and learning at the U.S. Agency for International Development. But he anticipates decline in investments in democratic reform, strengthening civil society, or fighting authoritarian restrictions on press, political protest, minority, women’s and LGBT rights.

Transatlantic Perspectives in Fighting Violent Extremism: Challenges and Strategies.

Panelists: Switzerland Ambassador to the United States Martin Dahinden; Andreas Kellerhals, director of the Europa Institute at the University of Zurich; Stephan Husy, ambassador at large for the International Counter-Terrorism at the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs; Khalid Koser, executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resiliense Fund; Lorenzo Vidino, director of the program on extremism at George Washington University; and Lytte Klausen fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and professor at Brandeis University.

3 p.m.: November 17, 2016

Venue: Woodrow Wilson Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.


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