YMGE 2017 Crisis Memo

 

The crisis at YMGE 2017 will be a dynamic string of interlocking events demanding delegates’ quick and critical thinking skills. In order to prepare for the conference, delegates should familiarize themselves with two concepts: terrorism and ideological extremism.

 

Terrorism, or the deliberate use of violence against civilians, has historic roots and a contentious definition. Depending on how one defines terrorism (see an academic definition and the EU definition), its history can be traced either to the French Revolution (the Jacobins) or to the 1st Century AD (The Sicarii Zealots). See “Is it time to stop using the word ‘terrorist’?” for a discussion of the history of the term and its implications.

 

Definitions aside, terrorism represents a danger to the security that the contemporary European state exists to provide to its citizens - note the 2017 EU Terrorism Report for recent statistics on crime in EU states. Effective counterterrorism efforts must be strategic and address the roots of terror, while demonstrating the understanding that countering terror propagated by different groups will require different techniques. Delegates may find it useful to familiarize themselves with a variety of counterterrorism techniques and theories - see here.

 

In addition to an understanding of a variety of conceptualizations of terrorism and effective counter-terror policies, delegates will need to understand the concept of ideological extremism. Ideological extremism is essentially the holding of extreme views about the way the world (or one’s country or area) should function. While ideological extremists will often share opinions and beliefs about their ambitions, there are divisions among groups about the appropriate means to achieve those goals. More extreme sects believe in more extreme measures while some (though maintaining extreme ideologies) are more willing to engage in the typical forums of liberal democracy, such as parliamentary politics.

 

Well-prepared delegates will enter YMGE 2017 with an understanding of these two separate issues, and will be ready to put their knowledge to the test.