Dr Katherine E. Brown discussed her work on gender, radicalisation and counter-radicalisation with The Austrian Integration Fund on 28 June 2017 in Vienna, Austria.

Dr Katherine E. Brown with The Austrian Integration Fund

Aleks Semerciyan (Member, Federal Ministry for Europa, Integration and Foreign Affairs), Jasmin Augustin (Vice-teamleader of the Education Centre at the Austrian Integration Fund),Katharina Schaal-Mulacek BSc, BA (Member, Team for Knowledge Management and International Research), Dr Katherine E. Brown, Romed Perfler MA (Head of Values and Orientation)

The discussions focused on the overlap and differences between concerns around ‘integration’ and those of ‘violent extremism’. Topics of discussion were strategies of extremist recruiters, changing social attitudes towards integration, and debates between ‘freedom and security’.

With a focus on questions of gender, Dr Brown noted that radicalisation strategies that appealed to men and those that appealed to women are different, but that both sought to integrate personal life experiences with a grand political narrative. Recognising the personal and political in both the reasoning for men and women in joining or identifying with radical groups is an important step to developing successful de-radicalisation programmes. For counter/anti-radicalisation programmes that seek to generate resilience and reduce risks of radicalisation within communities, Dr Brown argued that the focus is on having open critical discussions, within a frame of respectful dialogue and questioning.

 In the evening, Dr Brown had dinner with members of the foreign and internal ministries, as well as Austrian academics who focus on the Middle East. In this informal discussion the focus was on how states might respond to the porous nature of state boundaries and fluid transnational identities, while maintaining an Austrian sense of cohesion and collectivism. 

[Photo copyright Österreichischer Integrationsfonds]