Youth in Peace and Security Community of Practice Webinar
Analysis of Cognitive and Psychosocial Pathways Leading to EMPOWERMENT and RADICALIZATION –
Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (EDT)
The recording and slides from this webinar are available here.
Rarely are the notions of "empowerment" and "radicalization" uttered in the same sentence. "Empowerment" is to be desired and supported, whereas "radicalization" is to be prevented and feared. While less than obvious, radicalization and empowerment can be studied through similar lenses and can in fact be reduced to certain shared constructs.
The purpose of a YouthPower Learning grant, awarded to Equal Access, was in large part to unpack key theories of empowerment and radicalization, and to elucidate some of the shared elements between the two notions, ultimately for the purpose of leveraging and transforming often-destructive processes and behavior associated with radicalization for positive outcomes.
The first report argues that, to be more effective, CVE programming needs to recognize, enhance, and channel potential assets of radicalized youth - such as agency, commitment, leadership, and self-efficacy - and examines the possibility of reorienting their impulses, attitudes, and behaviors from violent radicalization towards non-violent civic empowerment. The report explores various theoretical models, paying particular attention to the individual-environment interactions requisite in each empowerment and radicalization phase, and suggests an innovative and controversial paradigm that capitalizes on what we know about radicalization: that it can be redirected for constructive, inclusive, and pro-social outcomes.
During this webinar, Mike Niconchuk, the lead author of the first report prepared under this grant, and Kyle Dietrich, Global Peacebuilding and CVE Lead at Equal Access, will be speaking about this research, and a follow-on report that will be released in June.
Kyle Dietrich, Global Peacebuilding and CVE Lead, Equal Access International
Mike Niconchuk, Consultant
Patrick Young, Youth in Peace and Security Co-Champion, (discussion facilitator)
On the day of the event you can join the webinar here.
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Kyle Dietrich leads the Global Peacebuilding and CVE Portfolio for Equal Access International, and is an adjunct professor at GWU’s Elliott School. At EAI he supports a broad range of peacebuilding and countering violent extremism (CVE) projects through radio, TV, inclusive community dialogues, research, and locally generated content to mobilize citizens, and change attitudes and behaviors to strengthen social cohesion, inclusion, empowerment, equity, and peace. A graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Harvard Divinity School, Kyle has also worked with CIVIC (Center for Civilians in Conflict), Mercy Corps, UN Peacekeeping, Navanti, USAID, the Peace Corps, the Carter Center, and Peace in Focus, a boutique peacebuilding organization he co-founded in 2007. An anthropologist by training, Kyle is proficient in French, Portuguese, Turkmen, and Spanish and specializes in: creative program design, conflict analysis, countering violent extremism, civilian protection, civil-military relations, foreign assistance, youth engagement, strategy development, and facilitation.
Michael Niconchuk is a Senior Researcher at Beyond Conflict’s Innovation Lab for Neuroscience and Social Conflict, and a Technical Adviser at Questscope Jordan. Mike is a graduate of Tufts University and University College London and holds degrees in International Relations and Social Cognition. Prior to Beyond Conflict, Michael spent 7 years working with at-risk and displaced youth in Latin America and the Middle East, particularly with youth at risk of violence and conflict with the law. From 2012-2015, Michael was the Emergency Response Coordinator at Questscope in Amman, Jordan, where he led the design and coordination the organization’s