VOX-Pol participates in ISA Annual Convention 2016 in Atlanta

Researchers from VOX-Pol Coordinator institution Dublin City University made a series of contributions at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, which took place from 16 – 19 March 2016.

ISA (established in 1959) is the world’s largest academic organisation dedicated to the study of international affairs. Its annual convention attracts 5,000+ participants annually.

VOX-Pol‘s Coordinator, Dr. Maura Conway, acted as Discussant for the panel ‘Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Communication Scholarship and Practice: Technologies, Narratives, and Critical Issues’ on Day 1 of the convention. VOX-Pol’s Ms. Orla Lehane, a DCU PhD student, presented her paper ‘Countering Online Violent Extremism: Harnessing the Social Media Power of Millennials,’ which critiqued the Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism programme, on the same panel.

On Day 3 of the convention, Dr. Conway presented her paper ‘At Risk’ or ‘A Risk’? Framing ‘Jihadi Brides’ in the UK Press’ on the panel ‘Social Media, Technology, and Gender Politics: Emerging Risks and Opportunities for Change.’ Amongst Maura’s findings were that so-called ‘jihadi brides’ are oftentimes depicted as victims of the Internet, especially social media, in British newspapers.On the final day of the convention, Dr. Conway participated in a round-table discussion centring on the role of mass media and social media in countering violent extremism and supporting peace building efforts. Other contributors included Prof. Mia Bloom (GSU), Prof. Steve Corman (ASU), Prof. John Horgan (GSU), and Prof. Tony Lemieux (GSU). VOX-Pol leaflets were distributed to the roundtable’s audience.

VOX-Pol colleagues also contributed to the ISA’s International Communications Section’s (ISA-ICOMM) one-day pre-convention conference on ‘Communication and Peace in the 21st Century,’ which was hosted by Georgia State University’s Dept. of Communication at their downtown Atlanta campus on 15 March.

VOX-Pol’s Ms. Lisa McInerney delivered a presentation entitled ‘Cradle to Grave: Lessons Learned in the Development of Counter-Violent Extremism Initiatives,’ which focused on the progress and challenges of effective CVE, with a focus on potential ‘lessons (to be) learned’ from the Northern Ireland conflict. Dr. Conway, a former ISA-ICOMM Section Chair, chaired the panel ‘Current challenges to Peace and Security: Terrorism’ at the pre-conference.