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Envisaging more constructive alternatives to the counter-terror paradigm

Summary

Most of the public conversation about terrorism has focused on conventional counter-terror efforts, which overlap with and influence stabilisation and statebuilding efforts. However, such efforts are often ineffective, and even counterproductive.

In their briefing, Envisaging more constructive alternatives to the counter-terror paradigm, David Keen and Larry Attree build on the analysis in their discussion paper, and outline six things to do less often and six directions for constructive alternatives to the counter-terror paradigm that could prove crucial in achieving lasting peace and human security in affected contexts.

The briefing calls for the development of holistic strategies for building peace that give due emphasis to less violent, more constructive alternatives. Such alternative approaches can include:

  • Avoiding defining conflicts narrowly as problems of ‘terror’, ‘extremism’ or ‘radicalisation’, and instead adopting a more impartial, holistic and sustainable approach to resolving them
  • Redoubling efforts for diplomacy, lobbying and advocacy to make the case for peace and adherence to international law by conflict actors
  • Considering the use of legal and judicial responses and carefully targeted sanctions
  • Choosing not to engage if harm cannot be avoided and no clear solution is evident.

Read the briefing Envisaging more constructive alternatives to the counter-terror paradigm.

Read the discussion paper Dilemmas of counter-terror, stabilisation and statebuilding.

Click here to find out more about our work on constructive alternatives to counter-terror and stabilisation.

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...by setting national security above human security objectives the West has - whether directly or through proxies - too frequently responded to the threat of 'terrorism' with the use of violence.

David Keen, Larry Attree