Rethinking Our Approach to Global Security
Responding Effectively to the Challenges Posed by Increased Radicalization of Religion and Nationalism
Stefanie Babst, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Today’s geopolitical landscape is increasingly characterized by religious and nationalistic radicalism that threatens global peace and stability. While this extremism at times involves countries as traditional actors in the international political realm, it is also marked by the rise of non-state actors whose actions cut across national borders. In addition to their genuinely radical beliefs, such actors have instrumentalized religious and nationalistic beliefs as pretexts to obfuscate deeper drivers of conflict, such as economic recession, resource scarcity, social change and political conflict. Responding to the threat posed by these trends in radicalization will require comprehensive solutions that aim towards both developing a deeper understanding of the root causes of the emergence of radicalized groups and their strategies and tactics, as well as putting a premium on the holistic engagement of all actors across society.