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ICCT Live Briefing: Gender and Violent Extremism Today


From young, lone men carrying out terrorist attacks, to the families of foreign terrorist fighters who travelled to, and remain in Iraq and Syria, analysing gender dynamics is key to understanding violent extremist groups today. Examining contemporary cases and international responses, this Live Briefing brings together leading academic and policy experts to analyse gendered dynamics of violent extremism, and discuss what a gender lens means for how we respond to violent extremism today.

On Thursday, the 4th of June 2020, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) hosted an online Live Briefing, followed by a Q&A session, on Gender and Violent Extremism. The Briefing was moderated by Joachim Koops, ICCT Board Member and Chair of Security Studies and Scientific Director of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University’s campus in The Hague.



Dr. Joana Cook is a Senior Project Manager at ICCT, and Editor-in-Chief of the ICCT journal. She is also an Assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University. Her research more broadly focuses on women and gender in violent extremism, countering violent extremism, and counter-terrorism practices. Her book, A Woman’s Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11, was released in 2019.

Ashley A. Mattheis is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Doctoral Fellow with the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right. Her work explores the use of online platforms to promote and mainstream extremist ideologies and divisive practices; particularly through discourses predicated on gendered logics. Her research brings together Cultural and Media Studies, feminist theory, and rhetoric to approach topics such as masculinities and online misogyny in the Manosphere, the linkages between the Manosphere and the Far/Alt-Right, and Alt-Right women’s discourses about negotiating submission and action in extremist groups.

Dr. Yannick Veilleux-Lepage is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. His research interests include the creation of online narratives and propaganda which fosters or normalises terrorism; historical antecedents to terrorism; far-right extremism and the transnational links of far-right groups; ideological and technical diffusion, and the application of evolutionary theory to social sciences.

Dr. Aleksandra Dier is the Gender Coordinator at the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). In this role, she is responsible for ensuring the integration of gender perspectives across CTED’s mandate, including in its dialogue with Member States, analysis of the latest trends and developments in counter-terrorism and CVE, and engagement with civil society and the research community. For more on ICCT’s work, and to keep up with future Live Briefings, check out our publications and follow us on Twitter @ICCT_TheHague. For further reading on gender and violent extremism, read the following recent publications by ICCT: