Understanding and assessing terrorism and violent extremism: A risk assessment approach
Dr. D. Elaine Pressman
Distinguished Senior Fellow and Scientific Expert in the Netherlands Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Dutch Ministry of Justice
Location: SE1 112
Violent extremism and terrorism are two of the most pressing global threats to our safety. This threat has lead policy makers, legal professionals and academic scholars to ask the question, how can we better identify individuals who will engage in violent extremism or terrorism before they engage in this behavior? This presentation will provide information on the background and development of the updated VERA-2R risk assessment approach for violent extremism and terrorism. The VERA-2R risk assessment approach is an individual Structured Professional Judgment (SPJ) evidence-based protocol that includes relevant indicators for ideologically motivated violence. The primary indicators differ significantly from those used in ordinary criminal violent offender risk assessment. The VERA-2R approach applies to to individuals inspired by the spectrum of political, religious, social and other ideologies or values or ideas. This includes right-wing and left-wing extremists, anarchists, Al-Qaeda and ISIS inspired actors, separatists,
Dr. Pressman received her B.A from the University of Manitoba, Canada (Political Science and Philosophy), and M.A. and PhD. (1971) from The Ohio State University, (Behavioral and Communication Sciences). She studied under the renowned Defence Scientist, Prof. Dr. John W. Black, a Regent’s Professor and a leader in defence and communication sciences research in the USA. Dr. Pressman completed post-doctoral work in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and followed post graduate studies at the Jung Institute of Analytical Psychology in Zurich Switzerland. She subsequently embarked on a career spanning over 45 years that included academic teaching, research, clinical practice. and government advisory roles on four continents.