The Role of Non-State Security Groups (NSSGs) in Combating Against Violent-Extremism

The Role of Non-State Security Groups (NSSGs) in Combating Against Violent-Extremism

Center for Security and Peace Studies (CSPS) UGM in collaboration with Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) organized International Seminar & Workshop entitle Securing the Local: The Role of Non-State Security Groups (NSSGs) in Combating Against Violen-Extremism in Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia (26-27 March 2019).  The seminar and the workshop is part of a research project that is undertaken as a multi-sited, multi-level comparative exploration of the role played by non-state security groups (NSSGs) in the provision of ‘human security’ in Indonesia, Nigeria and Kenya, particularly in the context of violent religious extremism.

The (threat of) violent religious extremism is a daily reality in many parts of the world In Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia it is posed by Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and Islamic State (IS). In each of these countries government and society seek ways of dealing with these threats. Whereas a major feature in Kenya and Nigeria has been the rise of armed civilian forces combating terrorist groups, the picture in Indonesia appears to be more complex. The situation describes that existing vigilante groups adopt the danger of terrorism as a new reason for their existence, civilian and governmental groups enter into new security collaborations, while deradicalization and its aftermath have become new working terrain for NGOs and civil society groups.

As dealing with extremism and related violence in Indonesia involves both state and non-state actors who interact with each other and with violent actors on diverse levels and concerning multiple issues, our interests lies in the dynamics and focuses that come to the fore. Specifically, we seek to understand the broader societal support, impact, critique and understanding of such activities in relation to the state and state efforts. We do so by 1) analyzing the discourse and resulting activities of different stakeholders in terms of security-provision (including deradicalization efforts), 2) studying and characterizing relations to government, particularly in terms of legitimacy and sovereignty, 3) analyzing the relations between local, national and transnational levels of organization, and 4) formulating a policy-oriented comparative typologization of actors, activities and agency in such security provision. The seminar seeks to present findings on the diverse countries in which the project operates to an Indonesian audience in order to learn from its input and to stimulate comparison.

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