In their efforts for CVE, CPAU organized a two-day event on promoting local research and information sharing on the drivers of violent extremism held in Balkh Province
In the context of countering violent extremism, it is crucial to understand the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism in specific, localized contexts. Therefore, more and extensive research is necessary to fully grasp and identify contextual factors causing vulnerabilities and consequently to design tailored intervention efforts to these factors. The role of governments as well as of the international community in this is to encourage deeper local research in order to facilitate the identification of most vulnerable communities and the drivers of violent extremism within as well as to evaluate the potential impact of possible responses to the problematic. To achieve this, it is also necessary to better connect the existing knowledge and best practices and to share newly gathered information with relevant individuals and communities.
Addressing this timely and pressing topic, CPAU organized a two-day speaker seminar session and workshops in Balkh Province, held on April 6-7, 2016 on the above introduced subject of ‘Promoting Local Research and Information Sharing on the Drivers of Violent Extremism’.
In summarizing the key outcomes of the Balkh Conference, it has been agreed that many people are not fully aware of the correct meaning and extent of extremism and that it will be important to define a clear definition of the phenomenon. It was also highlighted that the causes and reasons -including political and economic aspects – leading to violent extremism have to be identified. This will lead to greater knowledge and finally awareness of extremism. The speakers emphasized that a knowledge exchange and an intellectual debates and dialogue especially among young people can be useful for preventing the emergence and spread of violent extremism. As potential approach to solving the problem of extremism, it has been suggested to increase the cooperation inside and between Islamic countries, to promote education, training, and awareness raising and to bridge the gap between the government and the people through engaging civil society in finding solutions for preventing violent extremism.
The conference was characterized by a thriving and active knowledge exchange by high-level speakers like local officials, national and international scholars, civil society activists as well as central government members and an active participation from the audience. The event furthermore hosted very interactive workshops with a high representation of women and youths where men and women left gender issues and traditional roles aside and together engaged in an intellectual debate focussing only on the topic at hand.