Defeating violent Islamic extremism has been a high priority for all western countries, including Australia, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, the threat we face doesn’t so much come from zealots flying planes into buildings as from young people barely out of childhood and who have their entire lives before them. Altering any kind of ideological belief — whether religious or political — is very difficult. Once we get into our heads ideas about the difference between good and evil, right and wrong or innocent and guilty, they can be hard to dislodge. To do so requires more than a government program. De-radicalisation has been dismissed by some as a pseudo-science designed more for our own benefit to help us deal with a phenomenon most of us simply do not understand. De-radicalisation programs are unlikely to be completely successful. They may well do some good although they will not magically fix the threat of radicalised youths without us having to do anything more. The threat of radicalised youths is likely to confront our society for some time to come. This collection of essays looks at what more we must do and asks whether the beliefs that feed terrorism can be changed.
The Battle of Ideas: can the beliefs that feed terrorism be changed?
19 September 2016 | OP149
08 July 2021 | OP182
Addressing the Centre for Independent Studies, Noel Pearson outlines his insights and observations from decades of experience supporting education in remote majority Indigenous communities. He outlines the 6C Education model — Childhood, Class, Club, Culture, Civics, Community — adopted at Good to Great Schools, the organisation he co-Chairs, and the critical role played by teacher-led, direct instruction. Noel argues that…READ MORE
01 July 2021 | OP181
Australia’s recent closure of its embassy in Kabul, and the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years by 11 September 2021, casts a deep shadow over Afghanistan’s future prospects. In this paper, leading expert on Afghanistan, William Maley, examines the implications of the US withdrawal. He discusses how the ‘peace process’ that was supposed to flow from…READ MORE
06 May 2021 | OP180
This paper aims to provide a catalyst for the actions needed to address the crisis of Indigenous suicide. It begins by examining a major barrier to addressing Indigenous suicide—the politicisation not only of Indigenous suicide, but all Indigenous issues—before discussing some of the likely causes of suicide, and factors that make Indigenous suicide qualitatively different from non-Indigenous suicides. It then…READ MORE
11 February 2021 | OP179
The COVID-19 pandemic is stimulating debate about the relationship between the governed and their leaders, both elected and appointed. In Australia, the world’s tenth-oldest continuous democracy, there is an unanticipated but positive opportunity for a nation-building refocus on the principles and aspirations that underpinned the 1901 agreement ‘to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth’.[i] That agreement reflects an enduring belief…READ MORE
19 January 2021 | OP178
Joe Biden comes to the presidency amid great expectations for a return to normalcy in American foreign policy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a more benign international environment for Australia. The United States has global priorities and responsibilities, but there are three areas in particular where the Biden administration’s policy choices are most likely to affect Australia: China policy, climate…READ MORE