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QU will host conference on “Quantifying Radicalization” | Qatar University

QU will host conference on “Quantifying Radicalization”


Qatar University’s (QU) Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) will host a two-day conference of international experts on radicalization on 7-8 September in Doha, Qatar. The meeting brings together a diverse group of scholars and policymakers under the overarching theme of “Quantifying Radicalization,” with the aim of exploring drivers to radicalization and understanding how these could be used in countries’ risk assessment tools. The event will be the first of its kind convened in a Middle East country impacted by the threats of radicalization and extremist violence. The meeting also will take place against the backdrop of continuing efforts by the State of Qatar to promote counterterrorism in bilateral and multilateral forums.

Combating terrorism and violent extremism are among the foremost challenges of the modern era. Governments around the world continue to commit considerable resources to understanding the drivers of radicalization, in order to identify best practices in counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE).  In their efforts, policymakers continue to be aided by insights from a diverse network of scholars from research institutions, think tanks, civil society, and the private sector.

Despite progress in integrating evidence-based research into policy responses, significant research gaps remain regarding critical elements of counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism responses.  Many countries face challenges in understanding the drivers of radicalization to violence and assessing susceptibility of individuals to terrorist recruitment and radicalization to violence. These gaps and challenges complicate an assessment of counter-terrorism and CVE progress at the national and international levels.

To fully evaluate the efficacy of existing strategies to combat radicalization, and to develop and implement risk assessment tools and methodologies, there is a need for further exploration of the individual- and societal-level variables that can serve as indicators of the phenomenon. Continuing advances in scientific research methods — including surveys, laboratory experiments, social media and big data analysis, and computer-assisted textual analysis — while in their infancy, promise new found empirical insight.

SESRI's mission is to provide sound and reliable data to guide policy formulation, priority-setting, and evidence-based planning in the social and economic sectors. The Institute's research agenda spans a wide range of substantive areas of importance to Qatari society, including labor and employment, modernization and shifts in social values, education, health, family structure, and the impact of social and traditional media. At the same time, SESRI works to place results from Qatar into a wider context through participation in regional and international survey projects.