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Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists (DC, March 13)

8 Post author: PhilGoetz 01 March 2012 06:25PM

I've never been to a Rumi Forum event, but the topic (how individuals or groups abandon extremist groups and ideologies) and the key question (whether to try to change behavior or beliefs) are relevent to LessWrong.

Rumi Forum presents: "Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists", with Angel M. Rabasa, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
Wednesday March  13th,  2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
at Rumi Forum, 1150 17th Street NW, Suite 408,  Washington, D.C. 20036

Free and open to the public (registration required)
Light lunch will be served

Please Click to RSVP

Considerable effort has been devoted to understanding the process of violent Islamist radicalization, but far less research has explored the equally important process of deradicalization, or how individuals or groups abandon extremist groups and ideologies.  Proactive measures to prevent vulnerable individuals from radicalizing and to rehabilitate those who have already embraced extremism have been implemented, to varying degrees, in several Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, and European countries. A key question is whether the objective of these programs should be disengagement (a change in behavior) or deradicalization (a change in beliefs) of militants.

Rabasa will discuss the findings of the RAND monograph, Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists. The study analyzes deradicalization and counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe assesses the strengths and weaknesses of these programs, and makes recommendations to governments on ways to promote and accelerate processes of deradicalization.

Dr. Angel M. Rabasa is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has written extensively about extremism, terrorism, and insurgency. He is the lead author of The Lessons of Mumbai (2009); Radical islam in East Africa (2009); The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey (2008); Ungoverned Territories: Understanding and Reducing Terrorism Risks (2007); Building Moderate Muslim Networks (2007); Beyond al-Qaeda, Part 1: The Global Jihadist Movement and Part 2: The Outer Rings of the Terrorist Universe (2006); and The Muslim World After 9/11 (2004). He has completed the research on patterns of Islamist radicalization and terrorism in Europe, and is currently working on a project on deradicalization of Islamist extremists.

Other works include the international institute for Strategic Studies Adelphi Paper No. 358, Political Islam in Southeast Asia: Moderates, Radicals, and Terrorists(2003); The Military and Democracy in Indonesia: Challenges, Politics, and Power(2002), with John Haseman; and Indonesia's Transformation and the Stability of Southeast Asia (2001), with Peter Chalk. Before joining RAND, Rabasa served in the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. He is a member of the international institute for Strategic Studies, the international Studies Association, and the American Foreign Service Association. Rabasa has a B.A. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and was a Knox Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University.

Comments (7)

Comment author: FiftyTwo 09 March 2012 04:09:24AM 6 points [-]

Given that religious extremism arguable results from a failure to compartmentalise beliefs, which is something rationalists support, would de-radicalisation techniques necessarily be helpful?

Comment author: MaoShan 09 March 2012 01:50:18AM *  3 points [-]

What an unfortunate title for a forum on creating peace:

Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists

D.I.E.

Comment author: pedanterrific 09 March 2012 02:00:20AM 3 points [-]

Well I guess that's one way to deradicalize them.

Comment author: gwern 01 March 2012 08:14:16PM 9 points [-]

More appropriate for Discussion, IMO, although I guess there is a standing exception for meetup announcements.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 01 March 2012 10:21:19PM *  4 points [-]

The paper in question is here:

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG1053.pdf

It's curious to note that "deradicalization" is used in both reflexive and transitive senses — a person deradicalizes (him- or herself); or a person is deradicalized by some social process.

Comment author: Ezekiel 01 March 2012 11:03:44PM 2 points [-]

Thank you; that looks interesting!

English has lots of verbs that are the same in their transitive and reflexive forms: "freeze", "burn", "open", "close", "start", "finish", "cook", "look", et cetera. It doesn't make translation any easier, I can tell you that.

Comment author: Zaine 05 March 2012 04:58:47PM *  0 points [-]

In case anyone else is interested, note the RSVP hypertext leads to registration for a different event. The March 13 event registration link is here:

http://www.rumiforum.org/component/option,com_dtregister/Itemid,135/eventId,107/task,event_register/type,reg_individual/