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IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike

Recomposing the Islamic field in the Arab Gulf (STATEISLAM): State power and religious autonomy

Awarded: NOK 60,000

The aim of the scientific project is to analyse how Gulf countries implement new religious policies, at times in the name of preventing violent extremism (PVE). The potential contribution of official Islamic institutions and faith-based organisations in the prevention of violent extremism is often considered to be underutilised. Religious actors are important because of their many connections at the local level, their ability to increase local ownership over Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) efforts, and to provide psychosocial support to vulnerable groups. We aim to analyse why the involvement of official islamic institutions in PVE efforts vary from one country to another. Monarchies with inherited religious legitimacy, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Jordan in particular, have accorded the most prominent role to official Islamic institutions in the struggle against violent extremism. Less is known about Kuwait's domestic programs to counter violent extremism. Despite its important international role, Kuwait is often neglected in the academic literature on the Gulf region, which focuses on Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Kuwait does play an important regional role due to its efforts in exporting Salafism to the Levant. This project aims to deepen our empirical knowledge about Kuwait's religious diplomacy, based on semi-structured interviews in Kuwait. Moreover, we will compare the results obtained with our data on Morocco and Saudi Arabia. We will disseminate our findings through a scientific research article and two academic conferences.

Funding scheme:

IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike