Reports & Analysis



Religion & Geopolitics Today

Read our summary of the day's top stories from around the world on religion, geopolitics and conflict and sign up to receive it daily in your inbox.

05 Jan 2017


ISIS and al-Qaeda: Same Ideology, Different Methodology

Our data indicates that ISIS affiliates around the world tend to cause a greater percentage of civilian deaths than al-Qaeda's. This extract from the Global Extremism Monitor quarterly analyses the trend.

17 Nov 2016


Assad's 'Counter-Extremism' Battle Takes Toll on Civilians

Syria was among the worst countries for civilian deaths due to state actions, according to the Global Extremism Monitor. This extract from the Monitor's quarterly report analyses the data.

17 Nov 2016


ISIS Violates Ideology on Female Militancy

Contrary to ISIS' ideology, women undertook militant activity for the group throughout the quarter. This extract from the latest Global Extremism Monitor quarterly examines how ISIS has deployed female recruits.

17 Nov 2016


Global Extremism Quarterly: July to September 2016

At least 39 religious extremist groups instigated 662 violent incidents in 41 countries this quarter, according to the Global Extremism Monitor.

17 Nov 2016


The Calm Before the Mosul Storm

For months, both Iraqi and allied forces, and ISIS, were poised for the Mosul offensive. This extract from the Global Extremism Monitor quarterly examines how they were getting ready.

17 Nov 2016


The President vs. Abu Sayyaf: Three Months of Duterte

Since coming to power in June, the Philippines' president has set his sights on the Islamist militant group. This extract from the Global Extremism Monitor quarterly examines his counter-extremism approach.

17 Nov 2016


Global Extremism in September 2016

At least 3,274 people were killed in incidents relating to violent extremism in 26 countries in July, according to the Global Extremism Monitor.

30 Oct 2016


Global Extremism in August 2016

At least 3,472 people were killed in incidents relating to violent extremism in 27 countries in August, according to the Global Extremism Monitor.

30 Sep 2016


Global Extremism in July 2016

At least 3,460 people were killed in incidents relating to violent extremism in 26 countries in July, according to the Global Extremism Monitor.

30 Aug 2016

Briefing Note

In Their Own Words: Why ISIS Hates the West

In the latest edition of its English-language magazine Dabiq, ISIS discusses its reasons for targeting the west, and its hatred of Christians.

01 Aug 2016


Global Extremism in June 2016

The five deadliest violent extremist attacks in June claimed at least 577 lives, according to the latest Global Extremism Monitor.

31 Jul 2016


A War of Keywords

Extremists are exploiting the internet. A new report by the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics (CRG) and Digitalis Reputation asks what we can do about it.

Mubaraz Ahmed and Fred Lloyd George

28 Jul 2016


Global Extremism in May 2016

In May, 26 countries were targeted by violent extremism, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' (CRG) Global Extremism Monitor has found.

30 Jun 2016

Briefing Note

Why Would ISIS Target Istanbul?

At least 42 people were killed in an attack on Istanbul's main international airport, with Turkish authorities blaming ISIS. 'Constantinople' has ideological, as well as operational, relevance to the group’s aims.

29 Jun 2016

Briefing Note

What is Behind the Orlando Shooting?

The murder of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub by a gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS reinforces the danger of the group's appeal to lone attackers.

14 Jun 2016


Global Extremism in April 2016

In April, 23 countries were targeted by violent extremism, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' (CRG) Global Extremism Monitor has found.

31 May 2016


Global Extremism in March 2016

In March, over 50 countries were targeted by extremist groups, or made efforts to counter them, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' (CRG) Global Extremism Monitor has found.

29 Apr 2016


Milestones to Militancy

In new research, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at what the lives of 100 jihadis tell us about the global jihadi movement.

Mubaraz Ahmed, Milo Comerford and Emman El-Badawy

23 Apr 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Magazine Targets Sunni 'Apostates'

The latest issue of ISIS' English-language magazine, Dabiq, pursues a starkly intra-Sunni sectarian agenda in contrast to the previous edition, which focused on Sunni-Shia sectarianism.

13 Apr 2016


Global Extremism in February 2016

In February, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' (CRG) Global Extremism Monitor found that more than 3,400 people were killed in extremist violence and counter-extremist efforts.

24 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

What is the Jihadi Threat to Belgium?

The seemingly coordinated attacks on an airport and metro station in Brussels have once again drawn attention to Belgium, which is no stranger to jihadi groups.

22 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Côte d'Ivoire Attack Was A Matter of Time

The assault by al-Qaeda gunmen on a beach resort in the African nation follows an existing pattern of jihadi violence against soft foreign targets.

14 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Tunisia Border Clashes Show ISIS' Destabilising Force

Fighting between security forces and suspected ISIS militants on the Tunisia-Libya border highlights the acute threat the group poses to the region.

07 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Syria's Delicate Truce Underpinned By Mistrust

The two-week partial ceasefire in Syria is largely holding since it took effect on 27 February, but who will benefit if it lasts?

04 Mar 2016


Global Extremism in January 2016

This month, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' (CRG) Global Extremism Monitor finds at least 16 groups killing and kidnapping in 21 countries, with a total of 1,673 fatalities.

22 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

Syria's partial 'truce': A nod to pragmatism?

The Munich agreement on a 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria is a rare show of unity between world powers on the conflict, but the situation on the ground may prevent its implementation.

16 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Attack on Damascus Shia Shrine Opens Deep Wounds

The triple blast at the shrine of Sayyida Zaynab in the Syrian capital has a deeper significance within a history dating back much further than the five-year conflict.

01 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

What Does ISIS Stand to Gain in Libya?

Despite the overwhelming international focus on Iraq and Syria, Libya has emerged as a key battleground for the so-called caliphate.

01 Feb 2016


The Theory and Reality of Boko Haram

Two recent reports, one academic and one journalistic, give valuable insight into the ideology of Nigeria's Islamist insurgency.

25 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Exploits the Sunni-Shia Split

The latest issue of ISIS' English-language magazine Dabiq focuses on sectarian divisions, hot on the heels of Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shia cleric.

20 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

Malian Spillover in Burkina Faso

AQIM's deadly attack on a hotel and cafe in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso highlights the country's fragility to jihadi attack – and the vulnerability of its position as host to global partners fighting regional extremism.

19 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

Indonesian Attacks Follow ISIS Warning Signs

Eight people were killed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta following a series of targeted explosions. The attacks have been claimed by ISIS, and follow a number of prior warnings against the region.

18 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Video: A Change of Tack?

A recently released ISIS video features a masked jihadi with a noticeable British accent directing threats at Britain. What does it reveal about the group after recent setbacks?

04 Jan 2016


If the Castle Falls

New research from the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics (CRG) finds at least 65,000 Salafi-jihadi fighters in 15 groups ready to take ISIS' place if it is defeated.

21 Dec 2015

Briefing Note

What Next After Myanmar's Elections?

Myanmar's general election took place on 8 November 2015, amid concerns over the status of ethnic and religious minorities.

Anthony Measures

26 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Dynamics of Paris Attacks Come into Focus

As the context of the Paris attacks become clearer, it is crucial that lessons are learned for European countries building resilience against extremist ideologies.

23 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Mali Hotel Attack: Who Are The Prime Suspects?

Tracing a situation of chronic insecurity that has been ongoing since 2012 and seen several hotels and public spaces being targeted, we take a look at the different actors operating in the country.

23 Nov 2015


Jihadi Groups Dominate Global Terrorism

The Global Terrorism Index 2015 shows that terrorist activity increased by 80 per cent in 2014, with Boko Haram and ISIS responsible for half the deaths from terrorism worldwide.

19 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

After the Terror, the Propaganda

ISIS' latest propaganda magazine, Dabiq, focuses on the tragic Paris attacks and Russian airliner bombing. But its content, like the group's ideology, goes beyond simply glorifying acts of terror.

18 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

What is Behind the Paris Attacks?

Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people, demonstrate the particular threat that France faces from jihadi groups in the Middle East.

16 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Textbooks of Terror: ISIS Releases its Curriculum

ISIS' efforts to show its state-like credentials has seen the group release a series of textbooks, the content of which gives an insight into how the group is using education to indoctrinate the next generation of jihadis.

13 Nov 2015


Radicalisation in Cameroon's Religious Ferment

Radicalisation in Cameroon is worsened by Nigeria's Islamist insurgency and religious violence in the CAR, according to the International Crisis Group.

13 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

What are the Challenges Facing Turkey's AKP?

The AKP's success in the second set of elections this year returns Turkey to a single-party government, but will the party's strong track record be enough to deal with the country's growing challenges?

02 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Al-Risalah: A Letter from al-Qaeda to ISIS

The latest issue of 'Al-Risalah,' the magazine of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, aims to present al-Qaeda as the true representatives of global Islam, featuring articles by Abu Qatada and Western foreign fighters.

28 Oct 2015

Briefing Note

What's Behind the Growing Violence in Jerusalem?

As tensions over access to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem become increasingly violent, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics contextualises a conflict imbued with growing religious significance.

13 Oct 2015

Briefing Note

Turkey's Dilemma in Syria

The bombing in Ankara on 10 October, which killed 102 people, shows the threat Turkey faces as it seeks to manage the perceived threats of the Kurds, Assad and ISIS on its southern border.

11 Oct 2015


Inside the Jihadi Mind

New research from the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics finds a common ideology communicated through the propaganda of three leading jihadi groups. Read our summary of the report's key findings and how these can inform our response.

Emman El-Badawy, Milo Comerford and Peter Welby

06 Oct 2015


Boko Haram Mark II? Infiltrating Cameroon

A new report by Amnesty International highlights some of the methods by which Boko Haram has infiltrated Cameroon’s Far North region in 2014 and 2015.

25 Sep 2015


Exploiting ISIS' Contradictions

A new report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation identifies four key factors that drive jihadis to defect from ISIS. Exploiting them will help to build counter-narratives.

23 Sep 2015


Conflict Forces Millions of Children from School

A new report by UNICEF shows the dire effect of conflict on education across parts of the Middle East, particularly in countries affected by the rise of Islamist groups.

17 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Al-Qaeda Leader Breaks His Silence

Two audio messages from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the elusive leader of al-Qaeda, have been released in the space of a week.

15 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Unlikely Coalitions: ISIS' Portrayal of its Enemies

In the latest edition of ISIS' propaganda magazine, Dabiq, the group promotes an image of itself as an underdog against a global coalition, and condemns the flow of migrants rushing towards Europe.

11 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Taliban Succession: Turmoil or Transition?

The release of a biography of the Taliban's new leader provides an insight into the challenges faced by the movement. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics explores what the propaganda tells us about a Taliban in transition.

02 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Sri Lanka Elects: The Role of Ethnic and Religious Tensions

Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections are on 17 August 2015. Religion & Geopolitics looks at how the country's legacy of ethnic and religious conflict could influence voters' actions.

14 Aug 2015


Escalating Sexual Violence in Extremist Conflicts

New reports from US Institute of Peace and Human Rights Watch analyse the increasing role sexual violence has as a tactic for extremist groups. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key points.

12 Aug 2015


Muslim Identity at Risk in the Central African Republic

As violence continues in the Central African Republic, a conflict not religious at its roots, an Amnesty International report finds that the Muslim community face threats to their safety, identity, and ability to work.

11 Aug 2015

Briefing Note

‘Price Tag’ Attacks and Jewish Extremism

The killing of a Palestinian infant in an arson attack and of an Israeli youth at a gay pride march highlight the threat of Jewish extremism to Israel's national security. Such attacks are not a new phenomenon.

06 Aug 2015


Religion and Counter-Terrorism in Pakistan

The fight against terrorism and religious extremism in Pakistan is in doubt despite a new counter-terrorism plan introduced by the Pakistani government, according to a report from the International Crisis Group.

03 Aug 2015

Briefing Note

Mullah Omar Central to Taliban’s Claim of Religious Authority

The death of Mullah Omar comes at a pivotal moment for the Taliban as it struggles to make progress with peace talks and faces up to the growing threat of ISIS in Afghanistan.

29 Jul 2015


The Growing Fear Over Islamist Extremism

A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that there are changing attitudes towards Islamist extremism, with concerns growing in Western countries and those with significant Muslim populations.

28 Jul 2015


Children Increasingly Suffering in Armed Conflict

Violence against children in conflict zones reached record levels in 2014, including reports of ISIS and Boko Haram targeting young people, according to a UN report.

16 Jul 2015

Briefing Note

Propaganda Wars: 'State of Baghdadi' and 'Jolani Front'

Jihadi propaganda is increasingly focused on undermining the claims of rivals, whilst demonstrating its own legitimacy. This briefing note examines two recent publications demonstrating this trend.

15 Jul 2015


Continuing Insecurity in the Sahel

A new International Crisis Group report finds that government structures and patronage networks in the Sahel create fertile ground for illicit and Islamist groups.

08 Jul 2015

Briefing Note

Briefing Note: Jihadi Threat in Tunisia

June's ISIS-claimed attack in Sousse, following the Bardo Museum assault in March, shows the threat Tunisia faces from jihadism. This briefing note examines the context of radicalisation in the country.

01 Jul 2015


Reflecting on State Pressures in 2014

Deepening instability in many countries across the world, particularly in the Middle East with rise of ISIS, dominate the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key points.

29 Jun 2015


Beyond Jihadi Brides: Female Migrants to ISIS

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue observes that there are gender specific reasons for Western women joining ISIS and that counter-narratives must be mindful of gender nuances when tackling the issue.

25 Jun 2015

Briefing Note

ISIS and the Taliban: A Battle of Ideas

A major attack on the Afghan Parliament may have been an attempt by the Taliban to demonstrate its dominance of the Afghan jihad against a rising threat from ISIS.

22 Jun 2015


A Clear Divide in the State of Peace

As violent conflict continues to dominate headlines, the Institute for Economics & Peace finds a growing gap between peaceful and non-peaceful countries. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key points.

19 Jun 2015


Migrant Crisis: A Roadblock to Transition

With the plight of Rohingya Muslims gaining worldwide attention, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics assesses reports by International Crisis Group and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

11 Jun 2015


Iraqi Kurdistan: A United Front?

As Kurdistan continues to battle ISIS, International Crisis Group has published a report on political divisions and external influences on its forces. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key arguments.

02 Jun 2015

Briefing Note

Briefing Note: Plots, Conspiracies and Misinterpretations

The latest edition of ISIS' propaganda magazine, Dabiq, includes an unapologetic defence of its actions, including the sexual slavery of Yezidi women, and emphasises a 'duty' to migrate to the 'caliphate.'

22 May 2015


The Rising Human Toll of Religious Freedom Abuses

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom notes growing abuse and persecution of religious minorities, naming 17 countries of concern. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key points.

15 May 2015

Briefing Note

ISIS' Second Message of Weakness

After a defensive audio message in November 2014, the latest recording purportedly from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi contains a renewed call for migration to the 'caliphate.' This briefing note analyses the message's ideology.

15 May 2015


Record Numbers Internally Displaced by Conflict in 2014

The number of people internally displaced by conflict reached a record 38 million in 2014, says the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the main findings.

08 May 2015

Briefing Note

Global Response to Rise in Religious Violence

The debate over countering extremism is increasingly driven by those countries most affected by the violence. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at what this trend might mean for international policymaking.

29 Apr 2015


Understanding Tomorrow's Religious Landscape

A new report by the Pew Research Center forecasts a changing religious landscape over the next four decades, including a rise in religious affiliation. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the major findings.

24 Apr 2015

Briefing Note

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Role of the Caliph

Amid reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been wounded in an airstrike, an examination of the role he plays as 'caliph' of ISIS and the implications in the event of his replacement are useful.

23 Apr 2015


Boko Haram Tactics and Occupation Strategies

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and Amnesty International have released new reports on Boko Haram's attacks and the humanitarian consequences. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key points.

21 Apr 2015


Conflicts in 2014 Dominated by Transnational Groups

Conflicts in the Middle East and Maghreb and the activities of ISIS and Boko Haram dominate the 2014 Heidelberg Conflict Barometer. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the key findings.

26 Mar 2015


Preventing Violence in the Name of Religion

Countering religious violence requires analysis that neither obsesses over nor neglects the significance of religious ideology, says a report from the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom.

20 Mar 2015


Myanmar: Religious Tensions Remain

As ethnic and religious tensions in Myanmar continue, the United Nations reports on a worrying situation in the country which shows no sign of abating. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the key points.

19 Mar 2015

Briefing Note

The Rise of Jihad in Syria's Four Year War

Four years into the Syrian conflict, the religious and sectarian tones continue to rise. This briefing note looks at how the growth of jihad explains the motivations and justifications of its protagonists.

13 Mar 2015


Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Contest for Yemen

As Yemen's political crisis grows increasingly polarised, a Chatham House report examines its regional aspects, and their ideological and pragmatic motivations. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics explores the key points.

11 Mar 2015


Global Restrictions on Religion Continue

A new report from the Pew Research Centre finds that overall global restrictions on religion fell in 2013, but there was an increase in anti-Semitism.

04 Mar 2015


Iraq: Minorities on the Verge of Genocide

Amid news of the kidnapping of at least 220 Assyrian Christians by ISIS, two new reports highlight the plight of religious minorities in Iraq.

03 Mar 2015


Countering Violent Extremism Summit: Points and Reactions

Following a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism, which took place on 18-20 February 2015, The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics pulls out the main points and reactions to President Barack Obama's speeches at the summit.

23 Feb 2015


Violent Extremism Puts Girls' Education in Peril

Education systems and female students are amongst those most in danger from violent extremist groups according to a new report from the UN.

18 Feb 2015


Deadlock and Displacement in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has seen a recent flare-up in political violence, this comes amid a major internal displacement crisis arising from the country's inter-communal tensions.

13 Feb 2015


Why Do Western Women Join ISIS?

On 28 January 2015, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue published ‘Becoming Mulan? Female Western Migrants to ISIS’.

02 Feb 2015


ISIS in Central Asia: A Growing Threat?

ISIS has recruited many fighters from Central Asia, using religious rhetoric to attract a disaffected populace. This requires a coordinated response, according to a report from the International Crisis Group.

28 Jan 2015


Examining Boko Haram's Expanding Nigeria Insurgency

As the militant Islamist group Boko Haram continues its violent campaign in northeastern Nigeria, Emily Mellgard looks at three important reports analysing the Boko Haram threat.

Emily Mellgard

09 Jan 2015

Briefing Note

Paris Attack in Context

Following a horrific assault by jihadi gunmen on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, this briefing note examines the wider Salafi-jihadi ideological current.

07 Jan 2015


What Next for Stability in Thailand?

Seven months on from the May 2014 coup in Thailand, the International Crisis Group examine the prospects for stability in the country.

23 Dec 2014


Syria's Refugees: An International Crisis

A new report from Amnesty International details the refugee crisis in Syria, particularly highlighting the failures of the international response.

22 Dec 2014


How Good is Our Perception of Religion?

Perceptions of socio-economic and religious issues can very often fall wide of the mark, finds a study by the research company Ipsos Mori.

18 Dec 2014


Children Affected by Armed Conflict

As images of children affected by conflict continue to fill our screens, including the horrific attack on a school in Pakistan, and on a school bus in Yemen, the United Nations recently published the Annual Report of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, finding that children were caught up in 23 conflict situations around the world in 2013.

17 Dec 2014


Global Jihadism: A Changing Paradigm

The landscape of global jihadism has changed immeasurably since 9/11. A new report from the BBC and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation unpacks a month of jihadi violence to explain this fast changing phenomenon.

12 Dec 2014


The Right to Freedom of Religion on Human Rights Day 2014

Human Rights Day is marked each year on 10 December to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 Dec 2014


New Trends in Youth Radicalisation

A new report from the CPDSI looks at the appeal of extremist discourses for young people in France from a variety of backgrounds.

09 Dec 2014


Diving Deep into the Origins of ISIS

A new report from Brookings provides a historical analytical profile of ISIS, looking deep into its origins, its objectives, and how the threat can be confronted.

03 Dec 2014

Briefing Note

Parliamentary Elections in Bahrain

The November 2014 parliamentary elections in Bahrain took place against a background of continuing sectarian tensions in the country. This briefing note looks at the context of these elections and the controversy that they have raised.

27 Nov 2014


Playing the "Religion Card" Is Dangerous for Nigerian Elections

A recent report from the International Crisis Group (ICG) examines the likely motivations for violence in Nigeria's upcoming elections.

26 Nov 2014


Islam, Radicalisation and Identity in the former Soviet Union

Two recently released reports by Chatham House examine the concept of Islamic 'revival' in post-Soviet states, looking at the validity of common perceptions of the role of transnational Islamist movements in the changing dynamics of religious observance in Central Asia, as well as the impact of the recent crisis in Crimea.

19 Nov 2014

Briefing Note

The Temple Mount / al-Haram al-Sharif

High tensions continue to develop from controversy around the issue of access to the Temple Mount / al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the significance of the site, and its symbolic importance to conflict in the region.

18 Nov 2014


Global Terrorism in 2013 Dominated by Four Groups

In the second edition of their Index on the impact of terrorism worldwide, the Institute for Economics and Peace finds an increase in terrorist attacks in 2013, dominated by ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

18 Nov 2014


Rising Sectarianism and the Promotion of Tolerance in Pakistan

Two new reports from USIP highlight the rising sectarian violence in Pakistan and analyse the unique position religious leaders are in to promote tolerance and peace between communities.

14 Nov 2014


The Importance of Freedom and Choice in Prosperity

The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics takes a look at the findings from the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index, which aims to show how prosperity is understood and changing around the world. For more socio-economic data, take a look at our recently launched data section.

12 Nov 2014


The Challenge of Analysing Religion, Conflict and Peace

As the importance of the role of religion in conflict gains more prominence in the reporting of conflict situations, a new report by the Institute for Economics and Peace investigates the relationship between religion, conflict and peace. We highlight the key findings.

07 Nov 2014


Analysing the Rise of the 'Islamic State'

The exploitation of religion as a tool for motivation and indoctrination is the focus of a new report examining the emergence of ISIS from the Soufan Group. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out some of the report's key findings on ISIS' ideological evolution.

06 Nov 2014


An Urgent Need to Tackle Religious Tensions in Myanmar

Amid reports of a surge in Rohingya Muslims fleeing Rakhine State in western Myanmar, the International Crisis Group and the Centre for Strategic & International Studies sum up the need for urgent action, not only in Rakhine State but in the country as a whole. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics extracts the key findings in the context of recent events, and what this means for religious tensions in Myanmar and how to tackle them.

30 Oct 2014


A Long Journey: Political Stability in Afghanistan

After months of political deadlock, Afghanistan has completed the most peaceful handover of power in its history. However according to a new International Crisis Group report, many challenges still lie ahead. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics draws out the key religious aspects of the conflict and the political transition from the report's findings and recommendations.

23 Oct 2014


Beyond the Islamic State: Sectarianism in Iraq

Two recently published reports from Amnesty International and the Institute for the Study of War reveal the depth of Iraq's sectarian problems beyond the battle between ISIS and regime forces. The reports examine the range of Shia and Sunni militias engaging in sectarian conflict and undermining the prospects of peace.

16 Oct 2014

UN Photo/Iason Foounten


Security and Justice in the Libya Conflict

A United States Institute of Peace (USIP) report comprehensively maps the disintegration of Libya's security and justice sector from the Gaddafi era through the 2011 revolution to today. Focusing on the experiences of ordinary Libyans using interviews, focus groups and a nationwide household survey, the report analyses the key challenges facing the country in returning to stability.

08 Oct 2014

Photo/Yeowatzup, Flickr


The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Yemen

As insecurity and violence continue unabated in Yemen, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and Norwegian Refugee Council look at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) populations and conditions in the country affected by the ongoing insecurity.

07 Oct 2014


"Staggering" Human Rights Abuses by ISIS Against Iraqi Civilians

A new UN report describes a "staggering array" of human rights abuses committed against civilians in Iraq by ISIS, focusing particularly on the "intentional and systematic targeting" of religious minority groups.

06 Oct 2014

Photo/Viktor Dobai


Domestic Policies Complicate Kenyan Insecurity

Two recently published reports, from the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) and the International Crisis Group (ICG), graphically demonstrate the counterproductive consequences of Kenya’s counterterrorism policy.

03 Oct 2014


A Firm International Response to ISIS

In a week which has seen the international community, centred around the United Nations General Assembly, responding to the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including ISIS, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the main outcomes, focusing on what this means for religious minorities around the world.

26 Sep 2014

UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina


UN Mission to the Central African Republic Arrives

The arrival of United Nations troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) signals a new phase for the violent conflicts in the country. Krista Larson, Louisa Waugh and Human Rights Watch examine the situation in the CAR and the UN mission to the country.

18 Sep 2014


Growing Concerns for Religious Minorities in Myanmar

As issues over the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar persist, particularly the discrimination against Rohingya Muslims, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) concludes a fact-finding mission to the country, confirming concerns over violations of religious freedom.

12 Sep 2014


NATO Declaration Condemns Attacks Against Religious Communities

The Heads of State and Government who met at the NATO Summit in Wales from 4-5 September 2014 issued their declaration concluding the meeting, placing a much greater emphasis than in previous communiques on the role of religion and the persecution of religious minorities in conflict zones around the world.

08 Sep 2014


Exposing the Momentum of ISIS

As the scale of the attacks against ethnic and religious groups in Iraq by ISIS becomes more apparent, the United Nations and Amnesty International highlight the extent of the violence in two separate reports.

05 Sep 2014


Extremist Narratives in Pakistan's Schools

In their report, ‘Education Reform in Pakistan’, the International Crisis Group finds that at the heart of the religious extremism and sectarian violence that plagues Pakistan lies a broken school curriculum that perpetuates divisive and discriminatory narratives.

02 Sep 2014

Briefing Note

Jihadi Developments

In the first of a new series of Briefing Notes on the role of religion in conflict, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at recent developments in global jihadi movements, focusing particularly on tactical changes, increased factionalism and a notable generational shift in fighters.

29 Aug 2014


Beyond Sectarianism: Drivers of Conflict in the Middle East

The latest report from the Brookings Doha Center, ‘Beyond Sectarianism’, seeks to demonstrate that current conflicts in the Middle East cannot be accurately understood as arising from sectarian division between Sunni and Shia Muslims. It argues instead that the best framework for considering regional dynamics is as a cold war in which Iran and Saudi Arabia play leading roles.

20 Aug 2014


Religious Adherents Globally on the Rise

The number of people identifying as religious is on the rise, whilst many of those who don't follow a religion still hold some spiritual beliefs or engage in religious practices, says the 2014 Yearbook of International Religious Demography.

12 Aug 2014


Nigeria Security Tracker: July 2014

As attacks continue in Nigeria, the latest information from the Council on Foreign Relations' Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) depicts incidents of political violence in the country during July 2014.

08 Aug 2014


A Strategy for Stability in the Central African Republic

As hopes of a ceasefire in the Central African Republic come and go, the International Crisis Group recently released a report looking at priorities for stability in the country, including action that combines a peace operation with economic incentives, state support and the fight against trafficking.

01 Aug 2014


Global Religious Freedom in 2013

In 2013 the world witnessed the largest displacement of members of religious communities in recent memory, according to the annual International Religious Freedom Report, released by the U.S. Department of State

30 Jul 2014


Optimism for Human Development in 2014

As the deadline approaches for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the UN Development Programme publish their annual Human Development Report, which finds vulnerabilities still threatening human development, but with signs for optimism in some areas.

25 Jul 2014


Exploring the Sunni-Shia Divide

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has produced an interactive guide that explains the appeal of the 'schism' within Islam between Sunni and Shia, and its relevance in major political events.

23 Jul 2014


The Plight of Minorities in Iraq

As reports emerge via the United Nations of the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, particularly Christians, in Mosul and other parts of Northern Iraq, 'The Weekly Number' highlights this and more general hostilities against Christians around the world.

22 Jul 2014


Assessing Fragile States in 2014

The Fragile States Index 2014, recently released by the Fund for Peace, finds that South Sudan is the most fragile state in the world, overtaking Somalia for the first time in six years.

18 Jul 2014


The Resilience of al-Shabaab in Somalia

As al-Shabaab carry out further attacks in Somalia, most recently on the presidential palace in Mogadishu, an International Crisis Group (ICG) report looks at why al-Shabaab is so resilient and what needs to be done to address longstanding grievances in the country.

15 Jul 2014


Nigeria Security Tracker: 21-27 June 2014

The latest information from the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) for 21 - 27 June 2014 shows an increase in the number of incidents. Again, many of these are attributed to attacks by Boko Haram.

04 Jul 2014


Mapping the Current Situation in Iraq

As the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) declares a Caliphate in Iraq, the Institute for the Study of War continue their in-depth updates on the situation there, mapping the most recent attacks, areas where different groups have control and areas where there is contested control.

01 Jul 2014


Nigeria Security Tracker: 15-20 June 2014

The Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations documents and maps violence in the country. The latest information, for the week of 15 - 20 June 2014 shows a number of incidents of violence, many of which are attributed to attacks by Boko Haram.

27 Jun 2014


Emerging Trends in Religion and Foreign Policy

At this week's Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy, the Foundation’s Senior Advisor Ian Linden talked about religious freedom and the tensions in reconciling the nature of divine authority with secular rights.

Charlotte Keenan and Ian Linden

26 Jun 2014


The Practice of Appeasement in Libya

A report from the Atlantic Council, published on 5 May 2014 attributes the current cycle of violence, political stalemate and weakened economy to the Libyan authorities' continued policy of appeasing opponents.

25 Jun 2014


Over 50 Million People Forcibly Displaced

On World Refugee Day (20 June 2014), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) released a report which shows 51.2 million people have been forcibly displaced - the first time since World War II this figure has exceeded 50 million.

23 Jun 2014


Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk

The latest Global Peace Index from the Institute of Economics and Peace finds that the world has become 4% less peaceful since 2008.

19 Jun 2014


Afghanistan's Insurgency after the Transition

In this detailed report, the International Crisis Group take a look at the increasingly confident insurgency in Afghanistan during a time when troops are withdrawing from the country, and highlights the security challenges that remain.

16 Jun 2014


Passionate About Data

The era of accessible data is upon us, but good quality data on religion is still difficult to come by. We can begin by making the religious data that does exist available alongside socio-economic data, thus highlighting this important issue, writes Anthony Measures of the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics

Anthony Measures

16 Jun 2014


Record Numbers of Internally Displaced People by Conflict

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre recently released their annual 'Global Overview 2014' looking at people internally displaced by conflict, and found that for the second year running there were record numbers of internally displaced people - over 33 million by the end of 2013.

22 May 2014



Nigeria Security Tracker April 2014

The Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations documents and maps violence in the country. With the world focussing on the dreadful kidnapping of the school girls from Chibok, further attacks have continued, including two bombings in Abuja. This latest update gives further details from the past month.

16 May 2014


Terror in the Sinai

The Henry Jackson Society have released an in-depth analysis of the growing terrorist threat on the Sinai Peninsular in Egypt.

07 May 2014


Country Reports on Terrorism 2013

The Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, published by the U.S Department of State provides an annual assessment of trends and events in international terrorism. The 2013 report makes clear that terrorism continues to evolve, with growing numbers of foreign fighters, particularly in Syria.

02 May 2014


Peoples Under Threat 2014

In a substantial global report, Minority Rights Group International released their ‘Peoples under Threat Index’, highlighting the situation for minority groups, including the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar and non-Sunni Muslims and Christians in Pakistan.

01 May 2014


Annual Report on Religious Freedom 2014

In their 15th annual report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom documents religious freedom violations in 33 countries.

30 Apr 2014


Iraq’s 2014 National Elections

In this substantial report, Ahmed Ali from the Institute for the Study of War looks at the long-term implications of the Iraqi national elections.

21 Apr 2014


Nigeria Security Tracker March 2014

The Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations documents and maps violence in the country. The latest information, for March 2014 shows a sharp rise in violence, with much of this attributed to clashes between Boko Haram and state security services.

16 Apr 2014

Photo: Dennis Jarvis


Poll: Indians Want Political Change

In this report by the Pew Research Centre on political attitudes in India, carried out ahead of the recent elections, the Indian public, by a margin of more than three-to-one said they would prefer the Hindu-nationalist opposition (BJP) to lead the next government rather than the Indian National Congress.

26 Feb 2014

Photo: UNHCR


People Internally Displaced by Conflict and Violence 2013

Global forced displacement is at an 18-year high according to the latest report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with 7.6 million people newly displaced due to conflict or persecution in 2012

01 Jul 2013


Global Extremism Monitor

The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics’ monthly Global Extremism Monitor tracks incidents of violent and non-violent religious extremism, and efforts to counter it, around the world.

24 Mar 2010

Top of page >