Institute for Strategic Dialogue

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The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is a think tank which aims to work with leaders across sectors and geographies to develop to the major security and socio-economic challenges of our time and to enhance Europe’s capacity to act effectively in the global arena.[1] Originally founded as the Club of Three, bringing together France, the UK and Germany on issues of mutual concern,[2] the Institute now has three distinct areas of work; Counter Extremism, Education and Europe’s place in the world.[3] ISD's founder and president is George Weidenfeld, Baron Weidenfeld.[4] Its Director/CEO is Sasha Havlicek.[5]


ISD runs a wide ranging programme of work on extremism which ranges from traditional research papers[6] through to the facilitation of practitioners networks[7][8] and the development of counter narrative tools.[9] This work was overseen by Rachel Briggs OBE,[10] who left ISD in 2015.[11] Their work ranges from work on Al-Qaeda[12] through to work on the Far Right[13] and even integration[14] Major programmes include:

  • Policy Planners’ Network: ISD manages the PPN, a European inter-governmental network of policy chiefs from integration and interior ministries created to systematise cross-border exchange and develop upgraded, coordinated responses to the dual challenges of integration and extremism.[15]
  • Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network: a global network of former extremists, survivors of violence and interested individuals from the public and private sectors - working together to counter all forms of violent extremism.[16]
  • Far Right Extremism: ISD runs a programme on far-right extremism; managing a European Commission funded initiative with the Swedish government to promote European cooperation to tackle the far right.[17]

In delivering their projects ISD partners with governments[18] and leaders of the technology sector such as Google.[19] ISD also chairs the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) working group on the internet and social media.[20]


ISD has a scholarship programme[21] and a series of visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.[22] ISD’s work in education seeks to empower leaders of the future[23] and to bring leading practitioners and scholars to universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities.[24]

The Humanitas visiting Professorships, which ISD manages in conjunction with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge and by the Humanities Division in Oxford,[25] is intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Previous visiting professors have included Alastair Campbell[26] and Eric Schmidt.[27]

Europe in the World[edit]

ISD has a stream of work on Europe’s place in the world which draws heavily on the organisation’s original mission to promote discussion of matters of common concern to the peoples of the United Kingdom, Germany and France.[28] This stream of work seeks to promote Europe’s capacity to engage cohesively and strategically in the international arena.[29]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Acadia Fund, Supporting Education and Research, ISD
  2. ^ Weidenfeld Institute for Strategic Dialogue , “Europaeum” The Club of Three, ISD,
  3. ^ ISD 2011 Annual Review,
  4. ^ Europe’s Middle East Mission, "ISN blog", 25 February 2014
  5. ^ British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Publications, Journal - Advisory Board, Sasha Havlicek
  6. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Preventing and Countering Far-Right Extremism: European Cooperation, Country Reports,
  7. ^ The Policy Planners Network on Countering Radicalisation and Polarisation (PPN), CounterExtremism.Org,
  8. ^ Can a social network fight 'extremism'?, AlJazeera, May 2012,
  9. ^ Fourth round of successful Kanishka Project counter-terrorism research proposals, “Public Safety Canada”,
  10. ^ Rachel Briggs, “Huffington Post”, 7 February 2014
  11. ^ Rachel Briggs, “James Foley Foundation”, 16 May 2015
  12. ^ Rachel Briggs, The Changing Face of Al Qaeda, January 2012
  13. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe, February 2014,
  14. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Integration: What Works?, November 2013
  15. ^ Policy Planners’ Network, “ISDEP”,
  16. ^ Network to combat extremism and gang culture launched, BBC News, 25 April 2012
  17. ^ Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe- GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS,
  18. ^ Government tackles online radicalisation and 'foreign fighters', “Copenhagen Post”,
  19. ^ How Can Technology Help Society Counter Violent Extremism? Network Against Violent Extremism, “Google Ideas”,
  20. ^ RAN Internet and Social Media (@), “European Commission-Home Affairs”
  21. ^ Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme,
  22. ^ Humanitas, Humanities Division, University of Oxford Website,
  23. ^ The Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme, British Council,
  24. ^ Humanitas, Humanities Division, University of Oxford Website,
  25. ^ Humanitas Visiting Professorships, CRASSH,
  26. ^ Chris Mason, Alastair Campbell attacks 'self-serving' newspapers, “BBC News”, 13 November 2013
  27. ^ Eric Schmidt: The Future of Identity, Citizenship and Reporting, “Storify”,
  28. ^ Weidenfeld Institute for Strategic Dialogue , “Europaeum” The Club of Three, ISD,
  29. ^ Europe in the World, “Institute for Strategic Dialogue”,