The 2023 Annual Conference organised by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) had researchers, practitioners, and policymakers come together to explore the causes, challenges, and responses to far-right and anti-institutional extremisms in a world of flux.
Democratic principles are being challenged on all sides, the social fabric is eroding, and public trust in core institutions corroded. Trends like these are not entirely new, but have been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, thriving conspiracy theories, and proactive disinformation campaigns. These conditions are conducive to the rapid emergence of so-called “anti-institutional extremism”, the re-emergence of right-wing extremism, and the hybridisation of extremist ideologies, facilitated by a changing and pervasive information ecosystem. Such developments have far-reaching effects, manifesting both locally and globally, which were discussed throughout this conference.
Day 1, 28 June
13:30 - 13:40 – Welcome remarks by ICCT Director Thomas Renard
13:40 - 13:50 – Introductory remarks by Alle Dorhout
Alle Dorhout - is the Director of Intelligence of the AIVD, the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands. Alle has been director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2017. Previously, he served briefly as Ambassador to General Service and Special Envoy for Counter-Terrorism.
13:50 - 14:00 – Introductory remarks by Ian Moss
Ian Moss - is a Deputy Coordinator for the Bureau of Counterterrorism overseeing Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorist Detentions at the U.S. Department of State. He is responsible for developing and implementing a range of policies to counter Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE), to combat Terrorist Use of the Internet, and to prevent terrorist recruitment and radicalization to violence. Additionally, Ian is responsible for managing diplomatic efforts associated with foreign transfers of custody, the detention and repatriation of terrorists and terrorism suspects, and initiatives to rehabilitate and reintegrate former extremists.
14:00 - 14:45 – Crossfire exchange between Dr. Cas Mudde and Dr. Cathrine Thorleifsson addressing the causes/dynamics of the evolving challenges from far-right and anti-institutional extremism
Dr. Cas Mudde - Is a Dutch political scientist focusing on political extremism and populism in the Western world. He is the Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia as well as an adjunct professor in the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo.
Dr. Cathrine Thorleifsson - Is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. The past two decades she has been researching the drivers and dynamics of far right mobilisation and political violence, conducting long-term fieldwork amongst activists in Europe, the Middle East and digital subcultures. Thorleifsson is currently leading the Norwegian Government appointed Commission on Extremism, that will recommend strategies for improved P/CVE and CT policy and practice. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
14:45 - 15:15 – Q&A
15:15 - 15:45 – Coffee Break
15:45 - 16:30 – Keynote Speech by Dr. Florian Hartleb addressing responses to this new extremist environment
Dr. Florian Hartleb is Managing Director of Hanse Advice in Tallinn (Estonia), a political consultancy dealing with the digital society. He also lectures at German universities and contributes to international media and events on current political topics such as populism, euroscepticism, and terrorism. He was appointed as an official investigator of the City of Munich following the terror attacks of 22ndJuly 2016. He has published various books and is an internationally recognised keynote speaker, having presented about 160 speeches in 28 countries in Europe, USA, and Asia.
16:30 - 16:45 – Q&A
16:45 - 17:00 – Closing remarks
17:00 - 18:00 – Networking drinks
Day 2, 29 June
Series of closed door workshops by invitation only, covering distinct but related topics, namely on revisiting terminology, the impact of disinformation, extremism in non-Western contexts, as well as on the challenges of CT and P/CVE responses to hybrid extremism.
9:00 - 9:10 – Introductory Remarks
9:10 - 10:40 – Revisiting Terminology Workshop
10:40 - 11:00 – Break
11:00 - 12:30 – Right-Wing Extremism in the Global South Workshop
12:30 - 13:30 – Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 – CT/PCVE Responses Workshop
15:00 - 15:20 – Break
15:20 - 16:50 – Disinformation Workshop
16:50 - 17:00 – Closing Remarks
17:00 - 18:00 – Networking Drinks