A Youth Led Approach to Radicalisation

A Youth Led Approach to Radicalisation

Professor Theo Gavrielides, IARS’ Founder and Director, claims: “The road that we have taken for security policy and practice is leading to further division and the erosion of our European societal values”. He argues: “Europe is in a democratic deficit perpetuated by a number of challenges such as the economic downturn, fears of security, nationalism and the continuous marginalisation of the disempowered”. His assumption? “There is an alternative vision for social cohesion”. This is what he will be discussing as the keynote speaker at the Final Conference of the MARGIN project, held in Budapest (Hungary) from the 3rd to the 5th of April 2017.  Based on previous and on-going research activities, the MARGIN project’s specific aims are to address public perception of insecurity through the following framework: “1-  To create a framework enabling end-users to contrast objective and subjective measures of insecurity (i.e. compare police statistics with CVS data) 2- To develop and validate a thematic survey with a sample of 15.400 citizens that allows for the assessment of the impact of demographic, socio-economic, and socio-geographic variables on the perception of insecurity 3- To investigate the socio-cultural determinants of the perception of insecurity through the implementation of anthropological fieldwork in five EU countries 4- To share best practices and outcomes in a final event with 100 key end-users. By deepening the understanding of the root causes of insecurity, MARGIN is expected to foster the creation of community resilience practices empowering citizens (especially among those at risk of exclusion) to better face risks, and increase the public and personal perception of security.” (Source: http://marginproject.eu/information-margin) This conference comes at a time as IARS embarks on the first month of its 3-year Erasmus+ Youth Empowerment and Innovation...
Press Release: The IARS International Institute celebrates in Parliament 10 yrs of Community-Led Solutions for a Fairer Society

Press Release: The IARS International Institute celebrates in Parliament 10 yrs of Community-Led Solutions for a Fairer Society

Over 100 leading figures in the international research, policy and practice arenas celebrated the 10th anniversary of The IARS International Institute at a prestigious evening reception that took place on the 4th November 2015 at the House of Commons in London. The Institute’s 10 year celebratory Impact Report was also launched at the event, demonstrating the long-lasting positive impact of community-led research and individual empowerment on marginalised communities worldwide. The Report attests to IARS’ commitment to its user-led ethos and three founding values. This milestone event, hosted by Rushanara Ali, MP, celebrated the Institute embarking on its second decade of providing innovative community-led solutions for a fairer society. Originally set up by Dr Theo Gavrielides as an international youth-led network, the Institute has now expanded its work to cover a broad range of social research, policy and practice areas, contributing to local, national and international initiatives across its three core areas of expertise: Young People, Justice, and Equalities. Viewing social change as an organic process and focusing on the most marginalised groups, over the last 10 years the Institute has empowered individuals including young people, victims, and refugee and asylum seeking women who have been traditionally excluded from decision-making to get out of the margins, produce evidence themselves, have their voices heard, and shape policy and practice that affects them directly. Sir Bert Massie CBE, IARS Patron said: “As a disabled person, I know that one thing that infuriates the disabled is when we are not involved in making the decisions that affect our lives.  At the heart of IARS programmes is to promote the involvement of people to empower them to control their own lives...
To be or not to be… married, that is the question: Emerging perceptions of marriage in Kanungu, Uganda

To be or not to be… married, that is the question: Emerging perceptions of marriage in Kanungu, Uganda

Author: Arti Lad, LSE MSc Gender, Policy and Inequalities student, IARS Communications and Policy Intern In the UK, if a man approached a woman he barely knew and declared his “love” for her, whilst interrogating her with questions such as “how old are you?”, “are you married?” and “do you have any babies”, expecting to receive a response, we (society) would view this as an infringement of personal privacy. Nevertheless, when this happened to me three months ago in Kanungu, Uganda, I saw it as a matter worth investigating. I wondered, in this case, what’s “love” got to do with it? Why did the man, I barely knew, want to marry me? As a foreigner or, in correct Ugandan terms, a “Mzungu” (which literally translates into “white person”/of European descent), am I perceived as a figure of monetary gain? Or, was the gesture that I witnessed the conventional way of proposing a marriage in Uganda? As flattered as I was, however, my attention diverted to understanding the socio-cultural importance of Ugandan marriages – a topic which seems to be commonly discussed within the Kanungu community. Are matrimonies based upon “love”, consensual contracts, or obligation and duty? To address these forms of unions, I asked the following questions to members of the public in Kanungu town centre so as to better understand their beliefs, values and cultural norms: What is the importance of marriage in Uganda? What is a woman’s role in the household? What is your view on “bride price”? What do you think about married men having more than one wife? Do you think that men and women are...
International Question Time: Combating Hate Crime and Xenophobia through Restorative Justice: Reflections

International Question Time: Combating Hate Crime and Xenophobia through Restorative Justice: Reflections

Author: Gabriel Sanders, 99% Campaign team member and IARS Communications and Policy Intern On the evening of 13 April 2015, at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, some of the most accredited and acutely aware minds of United Kingdom academia gathered to discuss restorative justice and hate crimes, the issues closest to our hearts at IARS. The present writer from the University of California, Davis, was there as well as an unexpected but very fortunate participant. Surveying the room from my place on the panel, I took in the faces of men and women seated in the audience who hailed from widely varied academic and personal backgrounds. To my left sat the three distinguished panelists: hate crime expert Dr. Mark Walters of Sussex University, restorative justice Professor Marelize Schoeman from the University of South Africa, and of course Dr. Theo Gavrieledes, chair of the event and founder of IARS. Fashioning the event after the well-known Question Time T.V. programme, Dr. Gavrieledes guided the panelists through stimulating, hard-hitting questions from attendees of the event. Some were preselected by Dr. Gavrieledes and some were posed spontaneously by the audience. Questions ranged from topics addressing hate crime education in the UK and the US, to the role of religion in hate crimes and restorative justice, to the steps necessary for restorative justice to begin on a large scale between peoples and nations. As the least pedigreed member of the panel, I found myself answering questions in what I heard characterized as a bold, fresh, and even controversial perspective that seemed to complement the well-seasoned and long-researched theories of...
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Warm Hearts vs. Cold Blood

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Warm Hearts vs. Cold Blood

Author: Gabriel Sanders, 99% Campaign team member and IARS Communications and Policy Intern Jet-lagged, hungry, and bedraggled, my first encounter with the London Metropolitan Police began when I sat down with several student companions at a Cromwell road restaurant for lunch. The officer had been standing at the bar with his partner, intermittently eyeing our table. Having arrived in this country the previous day, my brain was still swimming in American paradigms; the officer’s presence set me on edge. Why? Lately, in my home country of the United States, a spate of highly publicized incidents of police abusing their authority, and abusing even further the citizens they are sworn to protect has sent waves of discomfort, distress, and outrage through many cities in America. Ethnic minority communities in my small hometown and especially in large metropolitan areas have much more reason to fear their ostensible “protectors” than I ever have or will as a middle-class white male. Notably, the outrage over the lack of any effective indictment of police officers responsible for the deaths of two unarmed African Americans on two separate occasions in 2014 (Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner of New York City) demonstrated an utter lack of public satisfaction or faith. Peaceful, albeit ominous protests occurred nearly every day as investigations took place and the fate of the police officers in question were being determined by the “justice” system. Predictably, however, the situation devolved to a cycle of reprisals in the form of public mayhem and vicious verbal condemnations. Two New York City police officers were murdered in cold blood, and for a time...
Editorial: Hope is Coming(?)

Editorial: Hope is Coming(?)

Picture credit: Flickr/Lorenzo Gaudenzi. Some rights reserved. Author note: Harry Blain is the editor-in-chief of the 99% Campaign. On 6 December, 2008, unarmed fifteen-year-old protester Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead by police in Athens. His death provoked two weeks of the most violent rioting in recent Greek history, as young people – from the unemployed, underemployed and angry, to middle-class graduates abhorred by the corruption of their political rulers – clashed with police, in street battles punctuated by thousands of tear gas canisters and riot gear on one side, and Molotov cocktails on the other. On the day of his murder, Grigoropoulous was with his friend, Nikos Romanos – another fifteen-year-old schoolboy celebrating his name-day (the day after whom his patron saint is named). In the five years following his friend’s death, Romanos has witnessed the austerity policies imposed by the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and EU ravage Greece’s public services, shrink its economy by 25%, drive up unemployment and poverty, and devastate the life prospects of an entire generation. In December last year, Romanos was on hunger strike: imprisoned for his part in a bank robbery and beaten by police, he was “demanding his statutory right” to attend university courses at the School of Business Administration in Athens. Romanos finally won his right to attend his classes, but his story is a powerful symbol of Greece’s social and economic crisis. The oft-discussed “biggest bailout in history” has not gone to the people of Greece, but instead to the banks and private investors who recklessly lent to the Greek government; “vulture funds”...