A policy-oriented series aimed at providing emerging researchers with the opportunity to introduce new ideas, perspectives and recommendations to practitioners and policymakers on how to resolve crucial security challenges.
Considerably more concise than classic academic essays, the process of writing good policy papers is by no means simple. In the vast majority of European countries students are expected to internalize and parrot huge amounts of notions. Except for theses or doctoral programs, such topics are rarely the object of further investigation and research within the taught courses. As such, not only do students write occasionally; in many instances they are not given the chance to turn into the main actors who can analyze, discuss, dismantle, and rebuild the discipline. That is, many students perchance care more about memorizing notions rather than their own critical take on those very notions.
Without any type of prejudice against any university system, which we truly respect, our aim is to offer the most realistic range of simulations that combine policy relevance with an academic, analytical approach. Through the envisioning of multiple possible scenarios, we encourage students to use the notions they learned to develop critical and dynamic takes on the subjects in question. In other words, here the main objective is to turn the students into the main policy actors. For instance, what would you do if you were the British Prime Minister in the aftermath of an ISIS’s-led terrorist attack in London? What would you do in the same situation if you were a right-wing politician, the head of the Jewish community in London, the minister of education, or one of the leaders of the city’s Muslim community?
That said, this exercise is quite challenging. The main stratagem is to include all of the necessary theoretical elements (definitions, models, references from the literature), identify one’s purposes and challenges, and suggest various plans of action in the most exhausting way, in the least amount of space. We will not set any word/page limit, though. We will accept up to 20-page papers, but, just to be clear, most policy papers, excluding appendixes and bibliographies, are only 5 pages long (1.5 space). In sum, the main goal of those who write is to identify the issue in question, summarize what others have said and done about it, identify the recipient’s main priority, suggest X policy options including their advantages and disadvantages, and conclude with policy recommendations.
The following section features 5 ideas for possible scenarios concerning various aspects linked to international security. Yet, being the nature of the study of counter-terrorism and counter-radicalization heterogeneous and interdisciplinary, we invited students and professionals from all fields to embark on these projects.