Since the concept of transformative learning, or transformative education (TE), was conceived in 1978, transformation theory has been the central paradigm of various transformative learning initiatives mainly intended for adult education. Nevertheless, the concept has evolved over the last three decades into a more hybrid context/content-oriented approach to address different issues, including the advocacy of tolerance, human rights, dignity, and peace – not only for adults, but for other age groups too. The main distinction between the earlier TE approach and the hybrid modern one is that the latter focuses on advocating a given principle, like human rights for instance, rather than on the transformation process itself as it is shown in the initial TE works. In the modern method, the same transformation process still takes place but subconsciously, without necessarily having the subject aware of the phases that they may go through. This evolution allows TE to be applied in the broader scope of practical applications, including its potential to serve as an instrument for anti- and de-radicalisation processes aimed at countering extremism and extremist violence.
The threat of female terrorism is not new. In recent years, women have been amongst those caught planning bold attacks across Europe and spotted fighting for Daesh. Yet the tendency of security services to view women as victims, rather than as perpetrators, continues to hinder counterterrorism efforts, particularly in Britain. Britain’s current Prevent strategy aims to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists, but the strategy is ill-equipped to tackle the threat of female terror cells. With the fall of Daesh, the prospect of returning female radicals armed with the knowledge and ideological motivation to attack seems increasingly likely. This reality demands an urgent reassessment of the way we understand and combat female terror cells.
In August 1947, India became a newly independent country and sought to move past the horrors of the brutal communal riots of 1946-47. Emerging from this shadow, the Indian government attempted to preserve the diverse social fabric of the nation by assuring the inclusion of all, and equity of treatment for minority groups, in the Indian Constitution. Today, however, India is on the brink of losing its secular credentials and jeopardising its security in the process.
Northern Ireland and violence, whether criminal or political, remains a public issue. Dr William Matchett served with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for 30 years. He mainly worked in Special Branch, the RUC’s intelligence department. Matchett then became a police adviser in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other places. He adapted his doctoral thesis to write Secret Victory: The Intelligence War That Beat the IRA. It is available via the Secret Victory website as well as all good outlets.