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Towards a Post-Ottoman Dialogue: Origins and Solutions for Violent Extremism in the Middle East, Balkans, and Northern Africa

Thursday 1 November 2018
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! fall lecture series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

This presentation will reflect on the origins and long-term solutions for violent extremism in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Northern Africa. It is argued that for understanding contemporary violent extremism in the regions and its impact on Western Europe, it is of importance to consider the three regions in concert and to consider their shared past as part of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the challenges for which violent extremists claim to provide an answer, originate from Ottoman times and especially the break-up of the Ottoman Empire after the first World War. From this lens, possible sustainable solutions may not so much come from a restauration of the Ottoman Empire but from a reflection on the ways in which the history of the Ottoman Empire and its downfall affected failed modes of governance, social injustices, relationships with the West, and attitudes towards religion, which are all to be considered critical factors for understanding violent extremism in the Middle East, Balkans, and Northern Africa.

About Mark Dechesne

Dr. Mark Dechesne is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Governance and Global affairs of Leiden University. His research is primarily focused on developing basic knowledge regarding human judgment, decision making, and beliefs, and the study of various societal questions in which these processes play an important role. The combination of basic principles of decision making and engaged social research, a combination that can be put under the header of decision making in context, can be used for instance to understand the decision of terrorists to use violence to advance their cause. Mark explored this theme of violent extremism while working at University of Maryland’s DHS Center of Excellence NC-START (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) from 2006 - 2008, and at various NATO Centers of Excellence. He is currently a faculty affiliate of University of Maryland’s START Centre and national coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project “Dialogue about Radicalization and Equality”, a large scale initiative to identify the origins of radicalization across 13 countries in Europe.

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