Author: Jeremy Simons1
Published in National Security Journal, 29 March 2023
Download full PDF version – Restorative Justice, Social Cohesion, and Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Time for a New Zealand Praxis? (637 KB)
This article assesses the “restorativeness” of New Zealand’s counter-terrorism approach as it is currently articulated after the 2019 Christchurch Mosque attacks. It applies a restorative lens to current policies, activities, and discussions in the New Zealand government’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the attacks. Utilising a restorative peacebuilding lens highlights the need for further development of bicultural, binding, bonding, bridging, and linking processes to restore social cohesion and rebuild social capital in the aftermath of acts of terrorism and violent extremism. This expands the conceptualisation of restorative justice articulated in the Royal Commission of Inquiry, advocating for restorative peacebuilding as a key strategy within the broader movement for Te Tiriti-based social justice and cohesion, with Māori resistance and peace-making highlighted as critical processes. Restorative peacebuilding draws on learnings from global peacebuilding to inform Aotearoa New Zealand’s bi-cultural framework for social cohesion in response to terrorism and violent extremism. The article recommends additional conversations, initiatives, and resources enabling restorative responses to extremism and digital harm circulating in and through online-offline ecosystems.
Keywords: Restorative Justice, Peacebuilding, Social Cohesion, Terrorism and Violent Extremism, Binding, Bonding, Bridging, Linking, Bi-cultural, Māori
1 Dr Jeremy Simons is an educator, organiser, and researcher with experience in peacebuilding, restorative justice, community development, and social health. His scholarship and practice draw on in-depth experience in conflict transformation, appreciative inquiry, and indigenous accompaniment around the world. Corresponding author: Jeremy.Simons@otago.ac.nz.