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2017 Critical Studies on Terrorism Conference: From Counter-Terrorism to Pr...

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Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 7RU

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From Counter-Terrorism to Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism? The Global Governance of Political Violence

Preventing and/or Countering Violent Extremism programmes are fast becoming an indispensable aspect of the global governance of ‘terrorist’ violence. The UN, EU and states such as the US have all developed extensive P/CVE policy platforms. P/CVE programmes ostensibly eschew conventional counter-terrorism regimes which rely on legal or militarised practices in favour of ‘non-securitised preventive approaches’. They seek to create space for intervention into the social environments of potential radicals prior to violence being perpetrated. Features characteristic of P/CVE include: promoting shared values, challenging narratives of real or perceived grievance or injustice, and forming community-led partnerships. Increasingly, the paradigm of preventing violent extremism, pioneered in liberal democratic states like the UK has been applied to explain and remedy violent conflicts in Pakistan, Nigeria, Kosovo, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Iraq.

This year’s annual CSTWG conference aims to unpack P/CVE programmes as they become increasingly embedded in global governance. From designating complex and diverse violent struggles across state contexts as products of ‘violent extremism’ to focusing overwhelmingly on Muslim populations or states, P/CVE programmes are ripe for critical scrutiny. US President Donald J. Trump decision to rename the US’s ‘Countering Violence Extremism’ programme to ‘Countering Radical Islamic Extremism’ speaks to the urgent need for such debate.

Potential themes under consideration include (but are not limited to):

  • The genealogy of P/CVE programmes: what continuities and discontinuities are there with past counter-terrorism regimes?
  • The gendering of P/CVE programmes and the mobilisation of masculine and feminine identities through these security practices.
  • What kind of knowledge is produced through P/CVE programmes about the populations and states to which they are applied?
  • What are the concrete practices of P/CVE programmes?
  • How might colonial/postcolonial/decolonial approaches help us to think through the logics of P/CVE programmes?
  • What role do P/CVE programmes play in global governance? To what extent have the supplanted earlier counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency regimes?

We are pleased to annouce our first joint keynote speakers: Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly (Warwick) and Dr Erzsebet Strausz (Warwick) who will be speaking about their Wellcome Trust funded research on Prevent strategy in the NHS.

Charlotte Heath-Kelly is Associate Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. She is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust to investigate how the Prevent Duty is performed in the NHS, and what forms of security expertise have been created therein. She has published two articles on counter-radicalisation as 'safeguarding' in Security Dialogue (2017) and Critical Studies on Terrorism (forthcoming 2017). Charlotte has published widely in journals including Security Dialogue, International Political Sociology and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. She has two monographs in print: 'Death and Security: Memory and Mortality at the Bombsite' (Manchester University Press 2016) and 'Politics of Violence: Militancy, International Politics, Killing in the Name' (Routledge 2013).

Erzsebet Strausz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. She holds a PhD from Aberystwyth University and her research interests include Critical Theory and Foucault studies, creative research methods and Critical Security Studies.

Our second keynote speaker is Ross Frennet:

Ross Frenett is the co-founder of Moonshot CVE, a startup dedicated to promoting data-driven innovation to counter violent extremism. Moonshot CVE develops new methodologies and technologies to respond effectively to all forms of extremism. Ross previously served as Director of the Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network. Throughout his career Ross has worked to bring technology to bear on the issue of violent extremism, developing online social networks, piloting new methodologies in delivering content to vulnerable individuals online and pioneering an entirely new sector in CVE, online interventions.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and should be submitted by July 17th, 2017 to Nadya Ali (na382@sussex.ac.uk), James Fitzgerald (james.fitzgerald@dcu.ie) and Megan Armstrong (megan.ann.armstrong@gmail).

We look forward to reading your submissions!

Nadya, Meg and James.

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Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 7RU

United Kingdom

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