Institute for Strategic Dialogue

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The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is a London-based ‘think and do tank’ that has pioneered policy and operational responses to the rising challenges of violent extremism and inter-communal conflict. Combining research and analysis with government advisory work and delivery programmes, ISD has been at the forefront of forging real-world, evidence-based responses to the challenges of integration, extremism and terrorism. ISD's founder and president was George Weidenfeld, Baron Weidenfeld.[1] Its Director/CEO is Sasha Havlicek.[2]

ISD runs a wide ranging programme of work on extremism which ranges from traditional research papers[3] through to the facilitation of practitioners networks[4][5] and the development of counter narrative tools.[6] Their work ranges from work on Al-Qaeda[7] through to work on the Far Right[8] and even integration[9] Major programmes include:

  • 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.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN): the leading global youth network of counter-extremism activists, YouthCAN provides marketing and digital tools to spur the creation of counter-narrative content for the Millennial generation.[12]
  • Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI): builds on ISD’s existing partnership with Facebook to develop new understanding and responses to the challenge of hate speech and violent extremism on social media.
  • Extreme Dialogue: a multi-media education resource for teachers and social workers centred on compelling films of ‘formers and survivors’ of extremism.[13]
  • One to One: an innovative engagement initiative that facilitates interventions between former extremists and young people who show serious extremist tendencies.
  • Strong Cities Network (SCN): the first ever global network of municipal-level policy makers and practitioners united in building social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism in all its forms.[14]
  • 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]

In delivering their projects ISD partners with governments[16] and leaders of the technology sector such as Google.[17] ISD also chairs the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) working group on the internet and social media.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Europe’s Middle East Mission, "ISN blog", 25 February 2014
  2. ^ British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Publications, Journal - Advisory Board, Sasha Havlicek
  3. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Preventing and Countering Far-Right Extremism: European Cooperation, Country Reports,
  4. ^ The Policy Planners Network on Countering Radicalisation and Polarisation (PPN), CounterExtremism.Org,
  5. ^ Can a social network fight 'extremism'?, AlJazeera, May 2012, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  6. ^ Fourth round of successful Kanishka Project counter-terrorism research proposals, “Public Safety Canada”,
  7. ^ Rachel Briggs, The Changing Face of Al Qaeda, January 2012
  8. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe, February 2014,
  9. ^ Vidhya Ramalingam, Integration: What Works?, November 2013
  10. ^ Network to combat extremism and gang culture launched, BBC News, 25 April 2012
  11. ^ Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe- GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS,
  12. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  13. ^ "Home - Extreme Dialogue". Extreme Dialogue. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  14. ^ "Home - Strong Cities Network". Strong Cities Network. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  15. ^ Policy Planners’ Network, “ISDEP”,
  16. ^ Government tackles online radicalisation and 'foreign fighters', “Copenhagen Post”,
  17. ^ How Can Technology Help Society Counter Violent Extremism? Network Against Violent Extremism, “Google Ideas”,
  18. ^ RAN Internet and Social Media (@), “European Commission-Home Affairs”