Gender and Counter-Radicalization: Women and Emerging Counter-Terror Measures

Authored by: Katherine E. Brown

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Violent Extremism
Country: United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia
Region: No Region
Year: 2013
Citation: Brown, Katherine. “Gender and Counter-Radicalization: Women and emerging counter-terror measures.” Gender, National Security, and Counter-Terrorism. 2013. pp.36-59.

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Executive Summary

This chapter analyzes two sets of interrelated counter-terrorism measures: counter-and de-radicalization efforts. This chapter begins with a review of existing debates about the nature and causes of radicalization, then briefly outlines existing state responses. From this basis, the chapter deploys a perspective informed by human rights and gender to evaluate state responses. The author focuses on three national policies and practices: the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. It is worth noting that while de-and counter-radicalization programs have historically stemmed from state attempts to minimize the influence of far-right movements, post 9/11 these programs are increasingly targeted at Muslim peoples, Islamic movements, and attendant ideologies. As a result, these post-9/11 programs are the primary focus. This limiting of scope enables clear identification of the particular ways in which race, religion, and gender intersect in post-9/11 understandings of terrorism. The review of state policies reveals that counter-radicalization measures are organized around the two gendered logics of maternalism and paternalism. The characteristics of these two logics are detailed in this chapter, and although they are addressed separately here, they are mutually reinforcing. Importantly, these logics construct citizens, detainees, and relatives according to gender norms that foreground some assumptions about politics, terrorism, and rights, and exclude others.