The webinar examines how societies in various parts of the world are reacting and responding psychologically to COVID-19 and what impact the global pandemic is having on individuals, communities and countries. The webinar will in particular be exploring how far the pandemic – and its psychological impact – is contributing to extremism, including violent political extremism, and whether there is evidence at this relatively early stage that some societies are proving more resilient than others; if so, why; and what might be some of the implications and repercussions.
Lord John Alderdice, as Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, played a significant role in the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was then the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly until 2004 when he was appointed to the Independent Monitoring Commission tasked by the British and Irish Governments with security normalization and closing down terrorist activity in Northern Ireland. He was President of Liberal International, the global federation of more than 100 liberal political parties (now Presidente D’Honneur), and Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords. He has lectured and consulted on fundamentalism, radicalization and terrorism in many of parts of the world and is currently Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College (Oxford), Chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (Belfast) and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland (Baltimore, USA).
Kumar Ramakrishna is Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Research Adviser to National Security Studies Programme and Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He has published in numerous internationally refereed journals and co-edited two well-received books on counter-terrorism, The New Terrorism: Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies (2002) as well as After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (2004). He is also the author of numerous single-authored books including Original Sin? Revising the Revisionist Critique of the 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore (2015) and Singapore Chronicles: Emergency (2016).