The role of ideology in extremist violence and terrorism: What drivers? What solutions?


On 26th October 2017, the European Policy Centre (EPC), in partnership with the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) and the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), organised a Policy Dialogue on the role of ideology in extremist violence and terrorism. The panel of experts included; Mr Bulcsú Hunyadi, Senior Political Analyst at Political Capital; Mr Oren Segal, Director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism; Dr Alexandra Stein, lecturer at the Mary Ward Centre; Political Analyst and Professor, Dr Amer al Sabaileh; and Ms Roberta Bonazzi, President of EFD. The dialogue was moderated by Mr Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst at EPC.
The panel of experts discussed the key characteristics and drivers of ideology, as well as its role in extremist violence, against a backdrop of extremist violence and terrorism recently carried out in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Spain and the United States. While there was a call to better understand the drivers of jihadist discourse and violence, the panel of experts also addressed the spike in xenophobic and racist discourse emanating from right-wing movements across Europe and the U.S., both on and offline. The commonalities between extremist groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum and their use of ideology was also a prominent feature of the dialogue, as were possible solutions for combatting such violence. The Policy Dialogue concluded with a dynamic questions and answers session.