Divergent Options is a non-politically aligned national security website that, in 1,000 words or less, provides unbiased, dispassionate, candid articles that assess a national security situation, present multiple options to address the situation, and articulate the risk and gain of each option.  Please note that while we assess a national security situation and may provide options, we never recommend a specific option.

Call for Papers:

Divergent Options is calling for papers assessing situations or discussing options related to Violent Extremism.

Please limit your article to 1,000 words and write using our Options Paper or Assessment Paper templates which are designed for ease of use by both writers and readers alike.

Please send your article to by December 9th, 2017.

If you are not interested in writing on this topic we still welcome individual articles on virtually any national security situation an author is passionate about.  Please do not let our call for papers cause you to hesitate to send us your idea.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Contextual Note as of November 11, 2017:  The interest we’ve received thus far in our Call for Papers on Violent Extremism has focused on violent extremism inspired by Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, & their adherents.  While this type of violent extremism dominates the headlines & think-tank analyses today, we encourage potential writers to explore all types of violent extremism & not just that which is inspired by Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, & their adherents.

Thoughts from our Twitter Followers to Inspire Potential Writers:

Assess or provide options to address the driving factors of violent extremism such as lack of economic opportunities or humanitarian crisis.

Who decides when the war against Violent Extremist Organizations is over?

Has Violent Extremist Organization “enlistment” changed – i.e., not the technology, but the motivation?

Why are individuals are drawn to the causes of violent extremism?

Assess or provide options to address social media’s impact on growing violent extremist movements.

For programs that seek to counter violent extremism i.e. “CVE,” assess or provide options to gain reproducible and generalizable outcomes in CVE program evaluation.

Assess the role and participation of women, not as passive victims, but as active agents, in violent extremist organizations.

What role do religious communities play in prevention, fighting against, and deradicalization of the extremist?

Why does early reporting related to violent extremist incidents tend to be inaccurate?

Internet Radicalisation and “Lone Wolf” theories: Is it really a “Lone Wolf” if supported/harboured by community?

Are violent extremists driven more by ideology or by identity?

Terrorism is a tactic.  Counter terrorism is therefore a tactical activity.  Why is not more effort aimed at that which causes the tactic to be utilized i.e. ideology or identity?

What options are available to combat the ideology that motivates people to become violent extremists?

Assess the success of countering violent extremism i.e. CVE programs throughout history.

What options are available to counter radicalisation in prisons?

Funding- beyond the need for “operational capital.” How do violent extremists in western countries support themselves?  What do they remit?

Assess the parallels between different types of violent extremism.

What is the correct/best terminology to talk about violent extremism?  What terms resonate in populations that are at risk for violent extremism yet won’t drive these populations away from U.S. efforts?  What terms can drive a wedge between potential recruits and their violent extremism recruiters?  What terms make it clear to the American people what violent extremism is without overwhelming them with details or dismissing completely the role religion / ideology play in this modern era of terrorism recruiting and radicalization?  What terms can be used to enable people of significantly different religious / ideological backgrounds to talk about violent extremism without talking past each other?