2018 Peace, War and Defense Conference: Perspectives on Countering Violent Extremism

Hosted in partnership with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

March 6, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Student Union Room 3408, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599

Join RTI and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for a lecture and panel that will showcase work done by academia, non-governmental organizations, and the military to Counter Violent Extremism (CVE). Each sector offers different capabilities and unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas that will not only be mutually educational, but may also generate opportunities for future collaboration and cooperation. 

The event will feature two panels, with presenters and panelists from the UNC Chapel Hill Peace War & Defense Department, the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, Fort Bragg, NC, and RTI International staff. Speakers will discuss current research, ongoing development initiatives, and military lessons learned in the CVE space.

Light refreshments will be provided. Please contact Linda Chung at lchung.contractor@rti.org with any questions.

Event Agenda:

Introductory Remarks

  • Dr. Navin A. Bapat, Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace, War, and Defense, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Philip Schwehm, Vice President of Governance and Economic Development Division, RTI International


  • Noah Flessel, Conflict and Transition Specialist, RTI International

Panel One: 9:00am

CVE Tools & Approaches: Building community resilience, identifying pathways to (de) radicalization and reintegration, and CVE tools and approaches

Dr. Matthew DeMichele, Research Sociologist for Center for Justice, Safety, and Resilience, RTI International

  • Presentation: “How Violent Right-Wing Extremists Leave Racist Groups in the U.S.”

Ross Owens, Social Scientist, Security and Resilience Program, RTI International

  • Presentation: “Risk Assessment Tools for Violent Extremism and the Need for Validation”

MAJ Alex Chung, Echo Company Commander, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) and SSG Jeremy Barbour, Charlie Company Operations NCO, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne)

  • Joint Presentation: “Military perspectives on CVE: Pacific Command Theater of Operations”

Panel Two: 11:05am

The CVE Information War: How Violent Extremist Organizations use media to recruit/radicalize and strategies to fight extremism

Dr. Cori Dauber, Professor of Communication, UNC Chapel Hill, and Research Fellow at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and Mark Robinson, Director of the Multimedia Laboratory, UNC Chapel Hill

  • Joint Presentation: “A methodology for the Systematic Evaluation of Extremist Propaganda Materials in the Online Space”

Dr. Michael Waltman, Associate Professor of Communication, UNC Chapel Hill, and Moister Fellow in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities

  • Presentation: "Comparing White Nationalist Hate Speech with Jihadist Hate Speech"

Dr. Kemal Ilter, Visiting Professor of Communication, UNC Chapel Hill

  • Presentation: “Social Media and Radicalization”

Dr. Alice Marwick, Assistant Professor of Communication, UNC Chapel Hill, and Faculty Advisor to the Media Manipulation Initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute

  • Presentation: “Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online of Far-Right Groups”