As the nature of violent extremism continues to evolve—both locally and globally—research is essential in our efforts to craft better policy and programming aimed at preventing and addressing it. Research provides information that can help answer some of our most pressing questions about the phenomenon so that we can craft informed and contextually appropriate solutions and avoid potentially negative outcomes. However, while the body of knowledge from research on violent extremism has notably increased and expanded, there is still more to know, learn, and understand, especially given the pace at which global and local dynamics evolve.Using and understanding research on violent extremism goes beyond just reading a research report or journal article. Instead, one must also understand the processes, data, and decisions behind the research and how they may have impacted the findings. This edited volume includes chapters providing unique insight and honest, collective reflection on experiences with conducting research on violent extremism, including the challenges of data collection, choosing research and analysis methods, and managing and building research relationships. These reflections are helpful for those conducting research, those using research to make policy and programmatic decisions, and those seeking to better understand research findings. The chapters not only walk readers through some of the perspectives, insights, methods, and thought processes behind research in this field, they also provide important food for thought for those seeking to undertake or improve their own research on violent extremism and for those using research findings to inform their own policy or programmatic decisions. Suggested Citation: Aryaeinejad, Kateira, Alastair Reed, Emma Heywood, and Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, eds. Researching Violent Extremism: Considerations, Reflections, and Perspectives. Washington, DC: RESOLVE Network, 2023. https://doi.org/10.37805/rve2023.1.
Territoriality as a Method for Understanding Armed Groups in Kenya and Strengthe...
Clifford Collins Omondi Okwany
This policy note explores the characteristics of community-based armed groups (CBAGs) unique to the Kenyan context through a comparison of local CBAGs with other nonstate armed groups, particularly violent extremist organizations (VEOs). In doing so, it introduces the concept of territoriality—the degree to which government and security agents are able to monopolize political, social, and security control of spaces—and suggests that both CBAGs and VEOs are most likely to thrive in Kenya under conditions of semi-territoriality, where state authority sometimes shifts fluidly from strong to weak depending on capacity or interest. To combat the rise of VEOs it recommends community-oriented policing as a devolved security strategy, strengthening the civil societies and police relation through the Police Reforms Working Group Kenya (PRWGK), helping to monitor and evaluate the police service. Additionally, mapping CBAGs and VEOs through clan structures is a community-oriented strategy that helps strengthen territoriality and counter semi-territoriality.
Suggested Citation: Okwany, Clifford Collins Omondi. Territoriality as a Method for Understanding Armed Groups in Kenya and Strengthening Policy Responses. Washington, D.C.: RESOLVE Network, 2023. https://doi.org/10.37805/pn2023.1.lpbi.
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COMPENDIUM: Community-based Armed Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa: RESOLVE Network ...
This compendium brings together the collected work of RESOLVE’s 2018–2022 Community-Based Armed Groups Research Initiative. Launched in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development Africa Bureau, this research initiative sought to fill a gap in the literature on community-based armed groups in sub-Saharan Africa—often key actors in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, but highly localized and not well-understood. The papers in this volume are presented in a series of phases corresponding to the development of the research. Phase One involved mapping the existing literature to establish a common definition and typology of these groups, as well as options for engaging with them. Phase Two deepened these understandings through a series of case studies in West Africa. Phase Three added a sub-focus to this research initiative by mapping the available literature on women in community-based armed groups, and Phase Four built upon that knowledge with a series of case studies in East and West Africa. Finally, Phase Five featured a set of case studies in Nigeria and Somalia on disengagement from violent extremist organizations, drawing on the personal experiences of former members to map their journeys into and out of these groups, providing a model for understanding disengagement and reintegration more broadly. Taken together, these publications lay the foundation for improved understanding of and responses to community-based armed groups in sub-Saharan Africa, and provide clear avenues for future research.
The compendium is divided into six main parts. Read the full version at the "View Document" link below or browse individual parts at the following links:
Foreword and Introductory Material
Phase 1 Research: Mapping the Literature on Community-Based Armed Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa
Phase 2 Research: Case Studies of Community-Based Armed Groups in West Africa
Phase 3 Research: Mapping the Literature on Women in Community-Based Armed Groups in East and West Africa
Phase 4 Research: Case Studies of Women’s Engagement with Community-Based Armed Groups in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire
Phase 5 Research: Case Studies of Violent Extremism Disengagement in Nigeria and Somalia
Suggested citation: RESOLVE Network. Compendium: Community-based Armed Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa: RESOLVE Network Research 2018-2022. Washington, D.C.: RESOLVE Network, 2023. https://doi.org/10.37805/cbags2023.1.