Special Event: Militancy and Modern Conflict


Militancy and Modern Conflict

Richard Atwood
In conversation with Scott Anderson

Monday, September 21, 2015. 7 PM.
The nature of war is changing. One change is the increasing influence of extremist movements, groups that use radical religious ideology to frame their struggle – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Pakistani Taliban. These movements often combine terrorist attacks with insurgency or even conventional warfare. They may draw support from communities with legitimate political or economic grievances while getting funding through criminal activities. Some control and govern territory while claiming to want to overturn the state system. Many trace their roots to local conditions even if espousing transnational goals. What has led to the rise of these groups? What do they want? How are they pursuing it? And how should Western and other states respond?   
Richard Atwood is Director of Multilateral Affairs & Head of New York Office at International Crisis Group. 

As Crisis Group’s director of multilateral affairs and head of its New York office, Richard Atwood represents the organisation at the United Nations. He and a small team work to feed Crisis Group’s analysis and policy ideas into the policy-making of member states and the UN’s departments and agencies. He previously served for five years as Crisis Group’s research director, overseeing thematic research and best practices and working with the president and program staff to develop policy. He has expertise in political transitions, systems and institutions, peace processes and operations, and early warning and is especially involved in Crisis Group’s work on elections.

Prior to Crisis Group, he worked for over a decade in elections and peace operations – with the UN in Afghanistan and Timor Leste, with the International Foundation for Election Systems, or IFES, in Palestine, Iraq (based in Amman), Lebanon and Pakistan, and for other organisations in Nigeria, Kenya, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kosovo, Peru and Cambodia, amongst other places. He has a master in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University and a BA in modern history and Russian with a first class honours from the University of London. He speaks a number of languages, including Spanish, French, Russian and Portuguese.
photo by Robert Clark
Scott Anderson is a war correspondent and novelist who has covered foreign conflicts on five continents over the past two decades. He wrote the novels Triage and Moonlight Hotel. His non-fiction books include The Man Who Tried to Save the World, The 4 O'Clock Murders, War Zones and international bestseller and National Book Critics Award finalist Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

A contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, his work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, Outside, Men's Journal and many other publications.
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