Barbarism and Religion

June 18th 2015 - 13:30

In 2014, more people died at the hands of IS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and affiliated groups than died as a result of religious violence during a single year period since the beginning of the 1990s. While the consolidation of these groups in the Middle East, North and Central Africa is of substantial importance, religious violence is on the rise globally and comprises agents of multiple faiths.

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) has produced a report into the rising threat posed by religious violence to the global security environment. Barbarism and Religion: The Resurgence of Holy Violence looks at the key issues at stake in tackling this issue, to assess how policy-makers respond, given the vast, border-defying parameters, rapidly evolving mechanisms and complex ties with socio-political factors .

This analysis forms part of the Strategic Monitor 2015, commissioned by the Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security and Justice. 

The report and the accompanying press release can be downloaded via the buttons on the right.

Frank Bekkers is Director of the Security Program. He is also theme leader of the Strategy and Change Program. He studied Applied Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam and spent most of his career at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), specializing in the area of Defence, Safety & Security. At TNO, he held a range of positions, including program manager, senior research scientist, group manager and account director. From 1996-1997, he worked as program manager for Call Media and Intelligent Networks for the telecom company KPN.

Stephan De Spiegeleire is senior scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy.

Tim Sweijs is a Senior Strategist. He is the initiator, creator, and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for research projects in horizon scanning, conflict analysis, international and national security risk assessment, and capability development. He has led multicenter research projects for both private and public sector organizations – including the European Commission and various European governments.