Resilient Cities


Cities have become the main target of Jihadist Salafist terrorism. Recent attacks in Paris (2015), Copenhagen (2015), Brussels (2016), Nice (2016), Stockholm (2017) and London (2017) have demonstrated the harm that terrorism can cause to the cohesion of European societies and have triggered a debate on how cities must respond to the increasing threat of violent extremism. CIDOB and the Universidad de St Andrews organised the conference "Resilient Cities: Countering Violent Extremism at Local Level" in which international experts answered the following question: What does an effective programme of counter-radicalization at local level look like?  

What is the profile of European jihadists? Is radicalization caused by certain social dynamics or by external agents? Are the causes domestic or international?

Rik Coolsaet, Ghent University, member ofthe European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation (established 2006) and the subsequent European Network of Experts on Radicalisation (ENER).

What can European cities do to prevent and counter attacks in their streets?

Bibi Van Ginkel, Cligendael, expert on legal aspects of combating terrorism and prevention of radicalisation in both a national and an international context.

Is a post-Brexit UK less safe? Has UK foreign policy affected the number of terrorist attacks the country receives?

Lord Toby Harris, House of Lords, in 2016 he produced an independent report at the request of the Mayor of London on the city’s preparedness to respond to a major terrorist incident.

What do American cities do to counter and prevent violent extremism?

Lorenzo Vidino, George Washington University, expert on Islamism in Europe and North America. 


Can terrorism end with our societies as we know them? What is the future of terrorism?

Tim Wilson, the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence of the University of St Andrews. 


Has the experience in the fight against terrorism in Spain been useful to develop effective instruments to combat terrorism?

Jorge Dezcallar, Former Director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI). 

Also, within the framework of the seminar, on June 8 a new conference of the series What is Going on in the World?on How are European Societies Countering Jihadist Terrorism? took place at CIDOB. A conversation between the Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, former Director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) and Bart Somers, Mayor of the city of Mechelen, moderated by Diego Muro, Associate Senior Researcher at CIDOB and Lecturer in International Relations at The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews.