Research – Counterterrorism policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Netherlands is committed to doing its utmost to prevent and, where necessary, combat terrorism. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of the actors that implements Dutch counterterrorism policy. Because terrorism is not confined to borders, a broad, global approach and international cooperation are essential.

Since the attacks of 11 September 2001 and subsequent major attacks in Europe, there has been an enormous increase in international counterterrorism efforts. These efforts are highly diverse in nature, ranging from military interventions, the development of preventive strategies and international cooperation, to projects aimed at tackling the root causes of terrorism.

Yet little is known about the effectiveness of these efforts. There has also been little evaluative research on counterterrorism, either at the national or international level. Since counterterrorism and preventing and combating violent extremism are still priorities on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' security agenda, it is an appropriate time to reflect on results achieved and lessons learned.


  1. Assessing the objectives formulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the area of counterterrorism and preventing and combating violent extremism. IOB will also conduct research on the relevance, coherence and, where possible, effectiveness of the ministry’s policy and its activities.
  2. Provide lessons and recommendations for future policy and programming.

Synthesis report

As a final product, IOB will write a synthesis report that will discuss this evaluation’s two aims in more detail. The report will draw on the sub-studies, which will act as building blocks.


  • Delphi panel

    As part of the evaluation, IOB set up a Delphi Panel to explore counterterrorism (CT) and preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE) policies and strategies. The aim of this panel was to identify possible trends and priorities in the areas of CT and P/CVE as well as key instruments and forums for policy development and implementation.

  • Effectiveness of CT and P/CVE activities

    As part of this evaluation, a literature review will be carried out to collect and assess the available knowledge on the (conditions for) effectiveness of CT and P/CVE activities. This literature review focuses on three specific categories of activity: 1) youth engagement, 2) capacity building of national government and law enforcement, and 3) reintegration.

  • The Global Counterterrorism Forum

    Between 2015 and 2019, the Netherlands co-chaired the GCTF together with the Kingdom of Morocco. In addition, the Netherlands co-chaired the GCTF Foreign Terrorist Fighters Working Group between 2014 and September 2017. This study will focus on the GCTF and Dutch involvement in this organisation.

  • Network of Regional Security Coordinators

    To contribute to the government's efforts to reduce the international threat of terrorism, a network of Regional Security Coordinators (RSC) was set up in 2015. This study will focus on this network, from its inception up to its operations today.


Arjan Schuthof
Paul Westerhof
- contact person
Rens Willems


  1. Ready: Exploration
  2. Ready: Terms of Reference adopted
  3. In process: Research in progress
  4. Report adopted
  5. Drafting policy response
  6. Report to parliament