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Professor Andrea Ruggeri and Dr Carlotta Minnella (Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford) are leading a project to create the first coordinated network of US and UK academics and policymakers working on countering violent extremism.

A new key objective for the UK and US governments is to improve the design and delivery of policies concerning countering violent extremism (CVE), and in particular, to make them more international in nature. Prof Ruggeri and Dr Minnella are key researchers in the area of CVE: between them, their research expertise cover a diverse range of connected issues. Prof Ruggeri’s research is in violent mobilisation, conflict resolution, human rights violations, and terrorist attacks; Dr Minnella’s research explores the role of policy-making and international cooperation in counter-terrorist initiatives, counter-terrorist financing, and human rights in counter-terrorism. Together, they have already worked with the National Security Research Group from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a 2016 pilot workshop to share expertise on CVE policies and frameworks.

In 2016-17, funding from Oxford's ESRC Impact Acceleration Award allowed the project team to develop this pilot to form an international, multi-partner network to share high-level evidence-based research and expertise that is not easily accessible to policymakers working on CVE. Following well-developed sustainability planning, the team hosted discussions online, in person, at workshops, and at conference to build this network. They created a series of communication channels to allow this network to grow into a practical portal for both academics and policymakers.

The project has helped to establish the University of Oxford as a central hub for this network, which can then be expanded and developed with academic partners in the UK and internationally. In addition, the project has acted as a framework to build relationships with a host of UK and US governmental and policy advisory organisations. Ultimately, the team aim to create a core presence of academic research at the heart of policy-making decisions on CVE on both sides of the Atlantic.

Project Partners

National Security Research Group, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Government

Countering Violent Extremism Office, US Embassy, London

George Washington University

The Washington Institute for Near-East Policy


Key Project Activities

• Establishing a new practical network with government and academic partners.

• A new pilot programme to facilitate and coordinate contacts within the network, and to produce policy briefs based on research.

• Organising in-person opportunities to build relationships, including full-day workshops and conference roundtables with network members.

• Planning long-term online resources to support network development.

Themes