Science and collaboration helps fight against violent extremism
Accessing information to understand violent and radical extremists will be much easier with the Violent Extremism Research and Evidence (VERE) repository integrated into the Radicalisation Research website.
Developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) on behalf of a NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) Research Task Group, the VERE repository comprises empirical, scientific, evidence-based materials.
VERE features the very latest research and provides policy makers, researchers, practitioners and specialist journalists with easy access to literature, data and tools on violent extremism.
Dr Sarah Knight, a senior principal psychologist at Dstl, said:
We are delighted to launch the new VERE repository, which provides researchers, practitioners, policymakers, journalists, and anyone whose work utilises concepts such as radicalisation, fundamentalism or extremism, with easy access to high-quality materials (including academic research and other grey literature) on these controversial issues.
Each VERE document on the website includes a short overview on how the information can be applied in practice, making it easier for users to gain key, at-a-glance insights on a range of vitally important topics.
Eric Laenen, Executive Officer, Human Factors and Medicine Panel, Collaboration Support Office (CSO) of NATO STO said:
I have recently looked at the VERE NATO/Dstl Repository and my first reaction is ‘it looks amazing’. It is easy to find all the categories – I like the allocations of the subjects and I was also pleasantly surprised about the amount of different articles – a job well done.
By taking a non-partisan approach and providing access to the best (including the latest) research we hope to challenge ungrounded assumptions that may obscure a clear understanding of violent extremism, including where that is associated with ‘Islamism’.
Many of the documents accessible on the site show how and why recent uses of the term ‘radicalisation’ can be misleading, especially when that term is used to refer to a simple process which drives individuals along a conveyor belt from ‘normal’ to ‘violent’.
There is growing evidence that there is no necessary connection between ‘extremist’ views and the resort to violence – other factors are involved. This also has implications for de-radicalisation.
Access VERE through the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST ) Radicalisation Research website.