Effectiveness of communication and media development in Information Warfare and Countering Violent Extremism
As part of its mission to enhance opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration between academia and the wider community, the Partnership runs placements for researchers in government and not-for-profit organisations.
Following a competitive selection process, Kate Ferguson of the University of East Anglia has been recruited to undertake a placement working with BBC Media Action, to look at the role of strategic communication and media development in reducing conflict and countering violent extremism. Her work will focus on the use of propaganda by a variety of state and non-state actors, and the evidence base behind current counter-propaganda strategies and efforts to combat violent extremism.
Kate is a researcher and policy analyst in the fields of civilian protection and mass atrocity prevention. She is Director of Protection Approaches, not-for-profit organisation that works to improve policy responses to identity-based violence and mass atrocity crimes. She has submitted her PhD thesis on irregular military dynamics in identity-based conflict to the University of East Anglia and is awaiting her viva. She has an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Oxford and received her BA in History with First Class Honours from the University of East Anglia in 2008.
During her three-month placement Kate will carry out a review of the evidence of the effectiveness (or otherwise) of strategic communication, independent media and media development in countering violent extremism and information warfare. This will involve interviewing relevant stakeholders, undertaking a literature review, and then drafting a report to be shared with the Partnership’s community and other interested parties. Her report will be the key output of the placement, and will be used by BBC Media Action and the Partnership to inform policy thinking and, if appropriate, future research calls in this area.