An international conference from 27-28 January at the venerable King’s College in London dealt with the topic of Non-State Actor Governance. Organised by the International Center for Studies of Radicalization (ICSR) and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS), the conference focussed on the question of how non-state violent actors and the conflicts in which they are involved have changed. Of particular importance was the question of how armed rebel groups control aspects of social life.
In addition, the conference addressed current developments in right-wing extremism. Holger Marcks, who researches this topic at the IFSH, dealt in his talk with the issue of how far-right actors strategically influence social networks, and how the technical design of these platforms benefits the extremists. On the basis of this connection, he showed the limits of counter speech intended to put a stop to far-right online propaganda. According to peace researcher Marcks, more consideration should be given to structural reform of social media platforms and their potential for governmental regulation in order to fight extremism effectively.