Violent Extremist Disengagement and Reconciliation (VEDR)
Violent Extremist Disengagement and Reconciliation (VEDR) is the peacebuilding contribution to disengagement from violent extremism and reconciliation with local communities. It de-exceptionalizes violent extremism from other challenges that result from similar sets of risk factors and social environments by emphasizing peacebuilding and public health. The VEDR approach addresses the social, structural, and individual dynamics involved to promote belonging and offer an alternative identity that rejects violence to transform behavior, transform identities, and transform conflict.
Conventional rehabilitation efforts on violent extremism focus primarily on individual beliefs, ideologies, and attitudes. Instead, VEDR moves beyond the narrow goal of disengagement from violent extremism by focusing on violent behavior as the fulcrum of change and considering the broader wellbeing and resilience of individuals and communities.
Goal: Behavioral disengagement from violent extremism and rejection of violence as a means to resolve conflict, express grievances, or pursue a goal.
Guidestar: Sustained, positive, inclusive engagement between disengaging persons & communities can transform relationships, build empathy, encourage social learning, rehumanize others, foster reconciliation, generate a sense of belonging, and offer an alternative identity.
Approach: Lower barriers and open spaces for prosocial engagement with community members and institutions.
- Individual Barriers: Address cognitive barriers to help-seeking behavior to encourage a willingness to interact prosocially
- Social Barriers: Reduce stigma and promote a sense of justice to open spaces in which prosocial engagement can occur sincerely
- Structural Barriers: Link disengagement and reconciliation with efforts to address the legitimate grievances and underlying political or systemic to build more resilient communities
- Violent Extremism is a Form of Violence
- Violent Extremism is Inherently Behavioral in Nature
- Violent Extremism is Inherently Social in Nature
- Violent Extremism is a Form of Violent Conflict