Victoria University’s renowned research expertise in preventing and countering violent extremism was featured on the international stage at a recent VU conference in Rabat, Morocco.
The three-day conference was organised by Victoria University in partnership with the Policy Centre for the New South (PCNS) with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and others.
This event highlights VU’s growing international profile and research in the area.
Addressing the New Landscape of Terrorism brought together perspectives of 40 front-line international practitioners, policy-makers, academics and civil-society actors in the field.
Building on similar conferences in Melbourne in 2016 and Bangkok in 2017, this was the third international meeting to examine practical approaches to the issues.
VU conference convenor Dr Virginie Andre developed the initiative after the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015.
“I recognised that we calmly needed to examine this emerging landscape of terrorism to understand its profound implications, bring together experts, and give voice to young people in particular who often aren’t part of these important discussions,” she said.
Experts discuss terrorism prevention
The Conference heard from experts about foreign fighters and disengagement, home-grown terrorism, the impact of media terrorism reporting, and the role of CVE in youth mental health.
VU senior research fellow Dr Debra Smith said the meeting bridged a gap between researchers and policy-makers on one hand, and grassroots, front-line practitioners working to counter violent extremism on the other.
VU researcher Dr Alison Baker said a conference highlight was hearing directly from young people about the role of identity and belonging in radicalisation.
VU Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Marcia Devlin opened the conference, saying VU was proud to co-host an important gathering of global leaders working to prevent and minimise the risk of radicalisation and violent extremism.