Chapter 26 Discussion Question Pointers

End of Chapter Question Pointers

Chapter 26 – Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

Daniel Koehler

  1. How would you describe the difference between preventing and countering violent extremism?
  2. Think about the steps involved in a radicalization process from the first contacts with or interest in an extremist group or ideology to the full involvement. What do you think are the most important differences between the time before a radicalization process and the time it is ongoing? Also think about what follows from that in terms of approaching the issue through different methods and goals. Would you react differently to someone who is in the process of radicalizing or to someone who is maybe at risk of becoming radicalized? How so and what does that entail?

  3. What are ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ styles of P/CVE?
  4. Preventing and countering violent extremism projects or programmes are tied to the political and cultural context of the countries they are working in. What do you think are the most important political and cultural differences between Western and non-Western countries that might impact the nature of P/CVE? Especially think about freedom of speech and religion, the rule of law and the role law enforcement and communities play in these countries and how this related to P/CVE.

  5. Why is it so difficult to evaluate the impact of P/CVE programmes?
  6. How would you determine if a person has changed his/her attitudes and convictions? How would you try to proof that an intervention had a causal effect on something that did not happen, such as further radicalization or violent acts? Can you rule out all other possible explanations for the behavioural change? Do you think it would be ethically problematic to compare groups who have received some P/CVE intervention with another one that did not? What could be the risk for the non-intervention group?

  7. How would you design a gender-specific P/CVE programme?
  8. Think about the potential difference men and women might have when joining extremist environments and more importantly the different experiences they make while they are their members. Does this change the way you think about the most necessary interventions and how so? Also, what about the society’s stereotypes and expectations for men and women who are extremists and might want to leave such milieus? Do you think, the society treats a former female extremist different to a male? In what way and what does that mean for the tools necessary to help them re-enter society? Can you think of any specific issues or obstacles faced only by women who are part of extremist environments who might want to leave?

  9. Can you think of some key challenges for P/CVE in the future?
  10. When you think about new developments in the extremism and terrorism field, what potential key issues might arise that are yet of little concern? Could there be completely new extremist ideologies or movements that set itself apart from the groups and movements we are familiar with? Could there be new forms or milieus of radicalization through new mechanisms? How do you think P/CVE needs to evolve to remain a valuable tool in the fight against extremist radicalization?

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