Inquiry Launches Press Release: New Inquiry into Soft Power Approaches to Resisting Radicalisation

London, 19 July, 2016 – A new inquiry into the effectiveness of ‘soft-power’ and other non-military solutions to combat violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been launched by a cross-party group of MPs and Peers today.

Launched by the British Council All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the long-term aim of the inquiry is to provide evidence that may support programmes that build the resilience of people who may otherwise be at risk of radicalisation and subsequent violent extremism. 

The APPG Committee is calling for submissions on:

  • Details of strategies, programmes or projects currently in place in the MENA region that help to reduce the risk of radicalisation (directly or indirectly).
  • Lessons that can be learnt from previous experience of reducing the risk of radicalisation by extremist groups (either historic, current or globally)
  • How this experience and learning (as well as from global perspectives) can be applied to the current challenge of reducing the risk that people will be radicalised.

The inquiry will also seek to form a better understanding of the reasons why people in the region become radicalised and will explore evidence of existing interventions to build resilience to radicalisation. 

Chair of the APPG, David Warburton MP said:

"With this inquiry, I hope we will gather more detailed insights into the nature of the motivations underlying extremism and radicalisation. Understanding the driving forces is an essential step in the journey towards peace and security. It's critical to explore the factors which drive radicalisation if we are to find ways to reduce the violence which continues to spread.  I'm delighted that the All Party Group is able to support the British Council in building the resilience of those at risk from radicalisation, and I see this inquiry as a platform on which the Government and the British Council can continue to work, alongside overseas governments and organisations, to tackle this global threat."

Chief Executive of the British Council, Sir Ciarán Devane said:

“At this delicate period, the British Council welcomes the APPG’s support in launching this Inquiry to Building Resilience to Radicalisation. A key aim of our cultural relations work around the world is to build stronger and more resilient individuals and societies. We hope the Inquiry will provide advice and recommendations to the development of existing and future programmes.”

Evidence submitted will be used to inform conclusions and recommendations from the report which will be launched in Parliament. The APPG hopes that these conclusions will be considered by Government, the British Council and other organisations working in this area.

Any group or individual that is interested in submitting evidence to the inquiry should visit the inquiry’s website at https://appg.britishcouncil.org/building-resilience-inquiry for further information.