How are people radicalized online and what can be done to counter the process? These are the questions that Peter Neumann grapples with: as a sought-after terrorism expert and political advisor he looks back on an intense and arduous year in his field of research. This is why we’re all the more pleased to be able to welcome Peter in Berlin following his first visit to least year’s #rpDUB (listen to his talk here).
For twenty years now, Peter Neumann has dedicated himself to the topic of radicalization, outlining and explaining the processes and causes of the phenomenon in his work. In doing so, his research has helped shed a light on a subject otherwise shrouded in darkness, clarifying a defining topic of our time. His analyses uncover the complex entanglements and multifaceted nature of the radicalization processes and demonstrate the importance of social networks for international terrorism. Together with his team at London’s King’s College, he develops solution-oriented methods to counteract the processes of radicalization.
Following his studies of political science in Berlin and Belfast, the Würzburg native received his doctorate at King’s College London with a thesis on the conflict in Northern Ireland. As both the founder and director, Peter has headed the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) since 2008. He has been the head of various research projects there, presenting political reports concerning online radicalization, foreign fighter networks such as ISIS, terrorist dropouts, prison programs for deradicalization and terrorist recruiting in Europe, amongst other subjects. ICSR’s research on foreign fighters is highly relevant for political decision-makers all over Europe and North America. Peter has, among other things, been special advisor to the US delegation at the United Nations during the drafting of resolution 2178 of the UN Security Council on "Foreign Terrorist Fighters" (see the video here). He is also a researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. This international think tank concentrates on the causes of (organized) terrorism and its effects on society.
Strategies for countermeasures were also the focus of his "Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action" policy report, which was released to the public in London in 2009. The report, authored together with Tim Stevens, provides both governments and civil society with assistance in counteracting online radicalization processes.
Neumann’s newest book release, “Der Terror ist unter uns: Dschihadismus und Radikalisierung in Europa” (The Terror in Our Midst: Jihadism and Radicalization in Europe – 2016), is a comprehensive introduction into the processes of extreme radicalization. He discusses "homemade" radicalization, which has become a central challenge for societies, especially in the West, while also discussing new trends and developments.
We are very happy that Peter will be joining us at the #rp17 and are eager to hear his analyses and strategies.