The concept of “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) has become central to the security policy of governments around the world. Yet despite the near-ubiquity of the term there is widespread disagreement over what the concept means.
The rise of the concepts of “violent extremism” (VE) and CVE has caused much discussion within peacebuilding communities around the world. Some see opportunities where the agenda of CVE and peacebuilding overlap. Others believe it is an agenda that distracts from the real root causes of conflict, and could actually undermine peacebuilding efforts.
To explore these issues further Peace Direct held a collaborative research project for experts and practitioners interested in this area. Over 5 days in April 2017, 118 expert participants from 36 countries took part in a series of discussions around issues relating to violent extremism and peacebuilding. The conversations covered areas such as defining extremism, the role of ex-combatants, and counter-narratives. This report contains reflections from a number of the participants on some of the main themes and sessions from the week.