The year 2020 has ushered in rapid and significant shifts in existing threats to global security. From the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change and longstanding violent conflict, the pressures facing our current global system are increasingly complex and all-encompassing. Among these, violent extremism remains a significant challenge—shifting as actors adapt and take advantage of ongoing and emerging global shocks and sources of instability. 

How has the violent extremism landscape changed in the five years since the “fall” of ISIS? How has rising global instability, populism, and disinformation altered violent extremist operations and ideologies, and vice versa? What challenges do we face in addressing violent extremism in the new threat landscape? Can we apply any lessons from past experiences to address emerging threats and dynamics in 2020 and beyond? 

On November 19 the RESOLVE Network and USIP held a discussion about these challenges and more during part one of RESOLVE’s fifth annual Global Forum series. Convened virtually, the forum brought together leading experts and researchers for thought-provoking conversations on evolving trends and dynamics in the violent extremist landscape. 

For more on the 2020 RESOLVE Global Forum series, follow us on Twitter at @resolvenet, and join the conversation with #RESOLVEForum.

2019 Global Forum: Resetting Priorities to Address Violent Extremist Threats
2018 Global Forum: Innovative Approaches to Understanding Violent Extremism
2017 Global Forum: Confronting the Next Wave of Violent Extremism
2016 Global Forum: Violent Extremism: Setting Priorities for Research

Speakers 

Dr. Alastair Reed, opening remarks
Senior Expert and Executive Director of the RESOLVE Network

Dr. Mary Beth Altier
Clinical Associate Professor, Center for Global Affairs, New York University

Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam
Assistant Professor, School of Religion, Queen’s University, member of the RESOLVE Research Advisory Council

Dr. Colin P. Clarke
Senior Research Fellow, The Soufan Center, member of the RESOLVE Research Advisory Council

Related Publications

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

Friday, January 8, 2021

By: Alastair Reed; Kateira Aryaeinejad

In the past five years, terrorist attacks have declined notably around the globe. While this is certainly good news—particularly in the 20th year of the so-called global war on terror—terrorism remains a pervasive threat. Despite declines in its prevalence, the scale of the challenge posed by terrorism and the violent ideologies that underpin it is still immense and the mechanisms by which to address it remain complex and in need of further coordination on a global scale. What trends did we see in 2020? And how can those trends inform policy to counter violent extremism?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

Nigeria's Security Failures: The Link Between EndSARS and Boko Haram

Nigeria's Security Failures: The Link Between EndSARS and Boko Haram

Thursday, December 17, 2020

By: Aly Verjee; Chris Kwaja

At first glance, the October state-led killings of protesters in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, seem to have little in common with the November Boko Haram massacre of at least 43 farmers in Nigeria’s northeast, or the December 11 abduction of hundreds of school students in Katsina State. With vastly different circumstances, motivations, and perpetrators—and separated by hundreds of miles—all three episodes could easily be recorded as just further tragic installments in Nigeria’s long history of violence. However, these incidents underscore the wider failure of the state to provide security for its citizens, only deepening the trust deficit felt by Nigerians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Fragility & Resilience

From COVID to the Caliphate: A Look at Violent Extremism Heading into 2021

From COVID to the Caliphate: A Look at Violent Extremism Heading into 2021

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

By: Colin P. Clarke

Heading into 2021, the violent extremist landscape is more diverse than at any previous point in the last two decades since the start of the U.S.-led Global War on Terrorism. While that effort was almost exclusively focused on combating violent extremist organizations motivated by Salafi-jihadism, there has been a universal recognition that other forms of extremism have proliferated. Many governments and states feel completely unprepared and underequipped to deal with these new forms of extremism, which include, but are not limited to, racially and ethnically motivated terrorism, terrorism inspired by extreme misogyny, left-wing terrorism, and the rapid spread of conspiracy theories.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

Women Preventing Extremist Violence (French)

Women Preventing Extremist Violence (French)

Friday, December 4, 2020

Au niveau de la Corne de l’Afrique, al-Shabaab et une présence émergente de l’Etat Islamique ISIS ainsi que plusieurs autres groupes extrémistes sont toujours en place en Somalie, avec des recruteurs et des réseaux de facilitation s’étendant au-delà des frontières nationales et à travers la région. Au Sahel, d’innombrables communautés soufrent également de la violence extrémiste et terroriste perpétrée par différent acteurs dont certains appartenant à l’Etat islamique, d’autres étant affiliés Al-Qaïda et le reste tiré des mouvements dirigés localement.

Type: Fact Sheet

Gender; Violent Extremism

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