This paper summarises the implications drawn from the project ‘Conflict
and Countering Violent Extremism’, conducted by RUSI for the Department
for International Development in 2015. The project examined similarities
and differences between Islamic Violent Extremist groups and other
conflict actors, and what this means for development, state building and
peace building responses. In view of the project’s main findings on what
approaches are effective in dealing with conflicts involving violent
Islamists this paper expands on the following key implications for state
building and peace building:
Building or rebuilding state capacity is an essential pre-requisite
for managing many Islamist violent extremist problems.
Security sector reform can promote a less violent response, and hence
reduce the risk of Islamist extremist violence increasing or
Religion in general (and Islamism in particular) does not make violent
groups automatically intractable. They should not, therefore, be
excluded from negotiating table just because they are Islamists who
Interventions to promote economic security in conflict-afflicted areas
have the potential to reduce or at least contain support for the most
problematic violent Islamists.
Addressing grievances will not necessarily resolve conflicts. However,
addressing grievances may contain groups and, in time, reduce their
Development practitioners should work in an ‘IVE-sensitive’ manner
even when not directly addressing extremist violence.
The most problematic Islamist groups will work to impede the core aims
of statebuilding – creating inclusive political settlements,
developing core state functions and responding to public expectations
– because increasingly they are seeking to do the same themselves.
Glazzard, A.; Jesperson, S.; Winterbotham, E. Conflict and Countering Violent Extremism: Implications. RUSI, London, UK (2015) 18 pp.