Michael Marcusa

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Dr. Michael Marcusa staffed the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States at the United States Institute of Peace as a policy adviser.

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Foreign Policy Essay

How States Foster Violent Extremism and What the United States Should Do About It

Over the past two decades, extremists have successfully exploited both intrastate politics and interstate relations to further their own state-building projects. In particular, they have targeted marginalized, peripheral regions of fragile states, where citizens are politically and economically excluded by their governments. Stopping the spread of extremism will require a broader strategy to address the often counterproductive role played by government actors, instead of focusing narrowly on potentially radicalizing individuals.