Benedetta Berti aims to understand when and why armed groups get involved in politics — and the implications this has for governments.

Why you should listen

Benedetta Berti is an expert on political violence, civil war and security — especially in the Middle East. She has spent a decade researching non-state armed groups — from terrorists to insurgents to militias — and works with governments and NGOs to offer new approaches for conflict resolution. In her book, Armed Political Organizations: From Conflict to Integration, Berti looks at Hezbollah, Hamas, the Irish Republican Army and other groups that have their roots in insurgency but moved into the political sphere. She offers surprising answers on why this happens and what it means. 

Berti’s current projects include leading an effort to design new parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and conducting a policy study on how to effectively deliver humanitarian aid to cut-off areas in Syria and Iraq. She recently completed a study on Gaza’s security infrastructure. And her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs.

More news and ideas from Benedetta Berti

Live from TED

On blazars, quantum computers, and looking for life on Mars: A recap of TEDFellows Session 1 at TED2015

March 17, 2015

TED Fellows and Senior Fellows have just opened TED2015 with a bang in the beautiful Kay Meek theatre in Vancouver. In the first session, discover: how bacteria can be programmed to detect and treat cancer, a yellow legal pad that smuggles transgressive data into the halls of power, what makes non-state armed groups tick, hyperactive supermassive black […]

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We humans

Why I study groups like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas

March 16, 2015

Benedetta Berti doesn't focus on the headline-grabbing activities of groups like ISIS; instead, she looks at what they do when they're not committing atrocities. Her work, says the TED Fellow, shows why counter-terrorism strategies must not focus purely on the military realm.

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