Resilient Cities

About the authors

Publication date:

Rik Coolsaet

Professor emeritus at Ghent University (Belgium) and Senior Associate Fellow at EGMONT–The Royal Institute for International Relations (Brussels). He has held several high-ranking official positions, such as deputy chief of the Cabinet of the Belgian Minister of Defence (1988–1992) and deputy chief of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992–1995). From 2002 to 2009, he served as Director of the ‘Security & Global Governance’ Program at Egmont–Royal Institute for International Relations (Brussels). He was invited to join the original European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation (established 2006) and the subsequent European Network of Experts on Radicalisation (ENER). His areas of expertise are: international relations, diplomacy and foreign policy, and terrorism and radicalisation. On this last topic, his most recent publications are: ‘All Radicalisation is Local’. The genesis and drawbacks of an elusive concept (June 2016); and Facing the fourth foreign fighters wave. What drives Europeans to Syria, and to Islamic State? Insights from the Belgian case (March 2016). Both were released by the Egmont Institute (Brussels).

Jorge Dezcallar

Lawyer, Spanish diplomat and expert in International Relations. He joined the Spanish diplomatic service in 1971 and was Ambassador on a Special Mission for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (1996), Ambassador to Morocco (1997) and Director of the Spanish National Intelligence Center (CNI) with the rank of Secretary of State (2001). After four years leading the intelligence institution, Dezcallar served as an Ambassador to the Holy See (2004), as an International Adviser for REPSOL (2006) and Ambassador to the United States (2008). He is a co-author of the book “Racismo y xenofobia: búsqueda de las raíces” (Ed. FUNDACION RICH, 1993), author of the book “Valió la pena. Una vida entre diplomáticos y espías” (Ed.Península, 2015), co-author of the book “No te equivoques, Trump no es liberal” (Ed.Planeta Deusto, 2017) and is the author of numerous newspaper articles. He has been recognized with diverse distinctions, including the Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic, the Grand Cross Ouissam Alauita and the Grand Cross of Saint John of the Order of Malta, as well as other Spanish and international decorations.

Lord Toby Harris

He has been a member of the UK House of Lords since 1998. In Parliament, he is a member of the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Policing. In 2016, he conducted an Independent Review for the Mayor of London on London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Terrorist Attack. He chairs National Trading Standards, which is responsible for delivering national and cross-boundary consumer protection enforcement activity and is the UK Coordinator of the Electric Infrastructure Security Council. In 2014/15, at the request of the Minister for Prisons, he led an Independent Review into the Deaths of Young People in Prison Custody, which was the most substantial review of penal policy for thirty years. From 2000-2004, he was the first chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority and subsequently was appointed by the Home Secretary to oversee the national and international functions of the Metropolitan Police - primarily its role in counter-terrorism and security. He was an elected politician in London for 26 years, was Leader of Haringey Council, Chair of the Association of London Government, and Leader of the Labour Group on the London Assembly. He is a former member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union.

Daniel H. Heinke

Chief of Detectives and Director, State Bureau of Investigation at the Bremen State Police, Bremen, Germany. He is an Adjunct Professor for criminal law, criminal procedure, and interdisciplinary terrorism studies at the Institute for Police and Security Research, University of Applied Sciences in Public Administration Bremen, Germany, and an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), King’s College London, UK. Prior professional experience includes service as senior executive at the state Ministry of the Interior, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Germany, as a state prosecutor (special prosecutor for homicide investigations), and as a military police officer. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Res), Military Police, German Armed Forces Reserve. In this capacity he is affiliated with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In addition to his own publications his work has been cited in various regional and national German media (including Weser-Kurier, tageszeitung, BILD, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit, Die Welt, Der Spiegel, Radio Bremen, ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Welle) and the BBC.

Daniel Koehler

He studied Religion, Political Science and Economics at Princeton University and Free University Berlin. After having finished the postgraduate program ‘Master of Peace and Security Studies’ at the University of Hamburg he specialized on terrorism, radicalization, and de-radicalization. He worked as a de-radicalization and family counselor in multiple programs and developed several methodological approaches to de-radicalization, especially family counselling programs around the world. Daniel Koehler is also the co-founder of the first peer reviewed open access journal on de-radicalization (, which he created together with the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies (GIRDS) in 2014. In June 2015 GIRDS Director Daniel Koehler was named a Fellow of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. In 2016 he was appointed to be the first court expert on de-radicalization in the United States of America at the District Court in Minneapolis. He has since then conducted risk assessment and de-radicalization evaluations of terrorist offenders in prison and trained expert personnel from various US Government agencies. Since 2016 he also works with the Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg/Stuttgart to help coordinate the state wide prevention network against violent extremism and radicalization.

Marije Meines

Senior expert at the European Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Excellence. RAN focuses on connecting first-line practitioners working on the prevention of radicalisation and enhancing the CVE and PVE efforts all over Europe. She specializes in implementing CVE action plans, building local multi-agency approaches and the development of counter and alternative narratives. She has been involved in the prevention of terrorism and radicalisation for over a decade. Her work includes drafting national and local actions plans and training sessions for practitioners and policy makers.

Diego Muro

Lecturer in International Relations at the Handa Centre for the Study of Political Violence and Terrorism (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews and Senior Research Associate at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB). Prior to St Andrews, he was Associate Professor in European Studies at King’s College London, Assistant Professor at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI-UPF), Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) and Senior Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. His main research interests are comparative politics, nationalism, security studies and terrorism. He has authored four books with Routledge entitled Ethnicity and Violence (2008), The Politics and Memory of Democratic Transition (2009), ETA’s Terrorist Campaign: From Violence to Politics (2016) and When Does Terrorism Work? (2018). His work has also been published in the following scholarly journals: Afers Internacionals, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Nations and Nationalism, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Politics, Revista Española de Ciencia Política, South European Society and Politics, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, and West European Politics.

Bart Somers

Bart Somers is a Flemish politician, member of the Open-VLD party, where he has fulfilled various functions. He has been minister-president of the region of Flanders, party president for five years. Currently he is the Group chairman for Open VLD in the Flemish Parliament and president of the ALDE-group in the Committee of the Regions. He is the Mayor of the Belgian town Mechelen since 2001 and a Member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 2004. Bart was rapporteur for the opinion “Combatting radicalization: mechanism for prevention on a local and regional level” which was accepted on 15th of June 2016 in the Committee of the Regions. In 2017 he published his book “Living together. A hopeful strategy against ISIS.”

Bibi van Ginkel

Senior research fellow at the Security Cluster of the Clingendael Research Department of the Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, the no. 1 think tank in The Netherlands for International relations. Van Ginkel specialises in the nexus between international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, and security issues. She has a great knowledge with regard to the United Nations and other security organisations. Special focus in her research is on (counter-) terrorism and (counter-) radicalisation issues. She published extensively on all the topics mentioned above, and has a long time experience in managing research projects for various clients. Among these publications are the flagship publications on terrorism for the Clingendael Strategic Monitors 2016, and the ICCT report ‘The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon in the European Union; Profiles, Threats & Policies’, which she co-edited with Eva Entenmann. She is a frequent commentator on national and international media. Finally, she is member of the Peace and Security Committee of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, a member of the Advisory Council to the Royal Netherlands Marrechaussee, and board member of various NGOs.

Lorenzo Vidino

Dr. Lorenzo Vidino is the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. An expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, his research over the past 15 years has focused on the mobilization dynamics of jihadist networks in the West; governmental counter-radicalization policies; and the activities of Muslim Brotherhoodinspired organizations in the West. The author of several books and numerous articles, Dr. Vidino’s most prominent work is The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, a book published in 2010 by Columbia University Press. Dr. Vidino has testified before the U.S. Congress and other parliaments; advised law enforcement officials around the world; and taught at universities in the U.S. and Europe. He regularly provides commentary to diverse media outlets (including The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, PBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya...) and is a columnist for the Italian daily La Stampa. In 2016, he was appointed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as Coordinator of the National Commission on Jihadist

Tim Wilson

He went to school in Cambridge and university in Oxford. His intellectual interests in conflict derive from working as a community worker in both North Belfast and East London in the later 1990s. Trained as an historian, his chief interest is in the widely differing effects political violence can have across different contexts. In over ten years of teaching and researching at top universities (Oxford, St Andrews, Queen’s Belfast) he has worked widely both on terrorism committed by governments, and by their opponents. Both his teaching and research have been recommended for prizes: indeed, his first book Frontiers of Violence – a grassroots comparison of different patterns of ethnic violence – was nominated for the Royal Historical Society’s prestigious Whitfield Prize in 2010. He is currently working upon a second book that seeks to ask why militant violence in Western societies has taken the forms that it has over the past 150 years, provisionally entitled: Terrorists: A Social History of Political Violence. He assumed the Directorship of CSTPV in September 2016.