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Implementing ‘Prevent’ in countering violent extremism in the UK: a left-realist critique

Abbas, Tahir ORCID: 0000-0002-0968-3261 (2018) Implementing ‘Prevent’ in countering violent extremism in the UK: a left-realist critique. Critical Social Policy. ISSN 0261-0183

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0261018318819001


This paper attempts to situate the UK ‘Prevent’ policy debate in the wider framework of the global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) paradigm that emerged in late 2015. By omitting a nuanced approach to the social, cultural, economic and political characteristics of the radicalised, there is a tendency to introduce blanket measures that inadvertently and indirectly lead to harm. Moreover, although ‘Prevent’ has been the outward-facing component of the UK government’s counter-extremism strategy since 2006, it conflates legitimate political resistance among young British Muslims as indications of violent extremism, providing credence to the argument that ‘Prevent’ is a form of social control, ultimately mollifying resistance by re-affirming the status quo on domestic and foreign policy. In this vicious circle, ‘Prevent’ can unintentionally add to structural and cultural Islamophobia, which are amplifiers of both Islamist as well as far right radicalisation. ‘Safeguarding’ vulnerable young people is imperative in this social policy domain but the language of inclusion is absent.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 16:41
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 21:51

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