Highlights from the first Security Distillery event in 2019

Highlights from the first Security Distillery event in 2019

On the 20th March the Security Distillery in collaboration with VOX-Pol got together for its first event of 2019, “Extremism: Online Networks, Offline Violence” at Dublin City University. Students from across DCU and the IMSISS programme attended for presentations from Security Distillery members discussing right-wing extremism in the EU, UK and US and an expert panel discussion on “Countering Violent Extremism”.

The event was hosted by Security Distillery member Casey Cannon who also chaired the discussion on right-wing extremism. Our presenters, Javier Martinez Mendoza, Heather McDonald and Felipe Simoni, presented a comprehensive look at the rise of right-wing extremism in the EU, UK and US and engaged our audience in an interactive debate including discussions on the relationship between extremism and right-wing rhetoric in the US particularly from President Donald Trump and whether the rise of the ideology in the EU and UK can be seen as a response to the refugee crisis. The presenters also highlighted the importance of studying this form of political violence by considering the recent attacks in Christchurch where 50 people were killed at two mosques at the hands of an ‘alt-right’ extremist.

The event was co-hosted with VOX-Pol an academic research network at DCU focused on researching violent online political extremism. The discussion was chaired by James Fitzgerald, a lecturer in Terrorism Studies at DCU. Maura Conway is the Coordinator of VOX-Pol and Orla Lehane is the Education Director at Fighting Words and works at the Institute of Education at DCU. The discussion focused on the effectiveness of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) operations and how this is done online.

The Security Distillery continues to work on creating comprehensive analyses of complex security  issues providing a better understanding of international security and foreign policy trends. We are also aiming to host another event in Prague in December 2019.

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