In the Caucasus We Count

WiP: Countering Violent Extremism: Information Threats and Counter Narratives, May 11 - Onnik James Krikorian


CRRC-Georgia, ARISC and American Councils present the 14th talk of the Spring 2016 Works-in-Progress season:

"Countering Violent Extremism: Information Threats and Counter Narratives"
Onnik James Krikorian

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6:30pm

1 Ramaz Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze Ave.)
Entrance III-IV, First Floor
0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

From nationalist ideology to asymmetric warfare waged by groups such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda, propaganda and misinformation in the form of carefully crafted single narratives are a key element in dividing societies and waging conflict. Alternative and counter narratives must therefore be employed in response, argue Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) practitioners, and are a vital component in any measures to prevent the radicalisation of at-risk individuals. As countries including Georgia seek to address their own specific problem with radicalisation, what narratives should be employed and who are the best messengers?

Moreover, how can such measures bolster traditional conflict resolution efforts in the South Caucasus?

This seminar follows an earlier one held by Naida Chamilova, Manager of the Hedayah-implemented and EU-funded STRIVE programme to counter violent extremism.

Onnik James Krikorian is a freelance journalist, photojournalist, and media consultant from the U.K. currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia. He is a freelance contributor to the BBC World Service, IWPR, EurasiaNet, and others. He has covered the Nagorno Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan since first visiting for The Independent in 1994 and is a trainer of conflict-sensitive journalism and social media for journalists and civil society activists from the South Caucasus for the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) GIPA, and others. From 2007-2012 he was the Caucasus Regional Editor for Global Voices Online.

He has also presented on the use of new tools in communication in conflict zones for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretariat.

Since 2013 he has been a speaker, participant, and consultant for expert working group meetings, seminars, and conferences on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), Counter Narratives, and Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) organised by the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Hedayah Center, International Center for Counterterrorism – The Hague (ICCT), the OSCE office in Tajikistan, OSCE Transnational Threats Division, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), and OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS), and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to