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Anna Klingensmith

Anna Klingensmith

Anna Klingensmith is a Public Policy and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies double major with a concentration in Arabic. Anna grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but has identified as a blue devil all her life. She is passionate about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and U.S. security policy, especially countering violent extremism. On campus Anna is a member of Illyria, the Women in Politics Club, and the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. Anna also works as a research assistant for the Nicholas School’s “Targeting Infrastructure in the Middle East” (TIME) project. She enjoys studying abroad in the Middle East and North Africa, having lived and studied in Morocco, Oman, and Jordan. After Duke Anna hopes to work for a think tank in Washington researching implications of U.S. foreign policy and counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East.

Honors Thesis:

Women as Agents in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: a Comparison between Europe and the Middle East and North Africa

Faculty Advisor: David H. Schanzer

Abstract: The potential for women to play a role in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) has been reported in a variety of different sources including scholarly studies and reports, government documents, and journal articles. These sources highlight that women have the capability to participate as agents in P/CVE both in their familial role at home, and outside the home in the workforce, making P/CVE programming more successful overall. However, there is a lack of knowledge about how women are being incorporated into P/CVE strategy and programming in practice. The objective of this scoping review is to gather the evidence available describing how women contribute to P/CVE in their communities (if at all) and what the roles they play in the P/CVE process in practice in six different countries: the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Morocco, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Sources were selected through searching multiple databases and the internet for terms related to gender, countering and preventing violent extremism, and radicalization to assess research and evidence related to gender and P/CVE. A total of 95 sources were used in the study. The study found the main reasons women radicalize to violent extremism in each of the six countries were poverty and financial hardship, political disenfranchisement and alienation, and social inequality. Accordingly, the study also found that P/CVE programming involving women is most successful when it engages women both inside and outside of the home, and when inclusion (vs gender specific language) is emphasized.