Violent extremism and development: Witnessing a fundamental pivot

After years of strong resistance, the development sector has recently made a pivot to engage on the agenda of countering and preventing violent extremism. What has caused this development and what are the consequences for policy planning?

In this Clingendael Alert Research Fellow Bibi van Ginkel analyses how development, security and justice are often mentioned as a condition for peace and security, but that in practice, international actors find it difficult to combine these often overlapping factors. This finds its cause in the different ways this problem is assessed, either through a state security lens or through a human security lens, and in the way in which programmes are implemented.

The security sector has long dominated the policies addressing terrorist threats and violent extremism, which mainly resulted in punitive and repressive counter terrorism and military responses. Cooperation between the security and development sector did not exist, for fear of legitimisation of terrorism. However, since a couple of years, there seems to be a change in attitude within the development sector, which may lead to a broader approach to countering violent extremism and terrorism.

Read the Alert.