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The Changing Landscape of Violent Extremism

March was a busy month for Transformative Peace, with our Founding Executive Director, Dr. Houda Abadi, giving several lectures on the emerging trajectories of violent extremist movements across the globe (see ‘Past Events’ for more information). With the territorial retreat of Da’esh, and the rise of far-right extremist groups in the West, the landscape of violent extremism looks markedly different than it did a decade or even just several years ago. Despite reduced capacity, Da’esh remains operational, and local violent extremist organizations and individuals claiming affiliation to violent extremist ideologies remain a threat to MENA and global security.

The challenges associated with returnees are significant and require a coordinated and comprehensive international cooperation, which recognizes the complexity of rehabilitating and reintegrating returnees and their families. A long-term vision is needed that ensures a comprehensive approach where mental health, educational reform, job placement opportunities, and partnerships with communities and civil society organizations are all addressed within the reintegration and rehabilitation programming.

Drawing on these guiding pillars, Transformative Peace is committed to designing and implementing inclusive, evidence-based, and contextually relevant PVE programs that respond to the rapidly shifting dynamics of violent extremism around the world.

Past Events

In March, Dr. Abadi delivered guest lectures for two cohorts at the Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute’s North Africa Class. The sessions focused on the push and pull factors of violent extremism, how the indoctrination process happens, and how recruitment can be thwarted. Dr. Abadi also discussed the role of toxic masculinity in violent extremism and the factors that make men vulnerable to recruitment. Finally, Dr. Abadi spoke about rights-based approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration, the current gaps and challenges with P/CVE programs, and the role of the inclusive processes in addressing exclusion and marginalization.


Check out more topics Transformative Peace covers on the BLOG.


On March 5, Transformative Peace hosted an event titled Women’s Meaningful Participation in Peace Processes: Challenges and Opportunities featuring Karin Ryan, Senior Advisor for Human Rights and Special Representative on Women and Girls at The Carter Center, which discussed what policymakers and implementing actors can do to ensure women’s meaningful participation in peace processes


- Watch full conversation below -



In addition, on March 30 - Dr. Houda Abadi gave a guest lecture for the Emory graduate course on Gender and Development titled, Women, Peace, and Security: Challenges and Opportunities.

Announcing New Partnerships

Dr. Houda Abadi partnered withUNESCO and UNOCT to write a research policy paper titled, “Rethinking Gender and PVE: Bridging the Gap.”

The research will provide critical contextual analysis on PVE and gender, with a primary focus on Morocco, Jordan, Libya, and Tunisia, as well as an in-depth analysis of the current state of affairs on gendered dimensions of rehabilitation and reintegration programs for returning foreign fighters and their families.


The report makes important contributions to gender and PVE in North Africa by examining gendered dynamics and trajectories of violent extremism in the region and efforts to prevent them, gendered assumptions that drive current policies, and lastly, policy recommendations that engage with gender in a meaningful and effective way.

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