The problem with ‘radicalization’: the remit of ‘Prevent’ and the need to refocus on terrorism in the UK
Richards, A. 2011. The problem with ‘radicalization’: the remit of ‘Prevent’ and the need to refocus on terrorism in the UK. International Affairs. 87 (1), pp. 143-152.
This article questions the utility of the term ‘radicalization’ as a focus for counter-terrorism response in the UK. It argues that the lack of clarity as to who the radicalized are has helped to facilitate a ‘Prevent’ strand of counterterrorism strategy that has confusingly oscillated between tackling violent extremism, in particular, to promoting community cohesion and ‘shared values’ more broadly. The article suggests that the focus of counterterrorism strategy should be on countering terrorism and not on the broader remit implied by wider conceptions of radical-ization. This is not to diminish the importance of contextual or ‘root cause’ factors behind terrorism, but, if it is terrorism that is to be understood and countered, then such factors should be viewed within the terrorism-counterterrorism discourse and not a radicalization-counter-radicalization one. The article goes on to consider the characterization of those presenting a terrorist threat to the UK as being ‘vulnerable’ to violent extremism. While it argues that the notion of vulnerable individuals and communities also lends itself to a wider ‘Prevent’ remit, it cautions that the impetus towards viewing terrorism as the product of vulnerability should not deflect us from what has generally been agreed in terrorism studies—that terrorism involves the perpetration of rational and calculated acts of violence.
|Journal citation||87 (1), pp. 143-152|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2011.00964.x|
|19 Jan 2011|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||01 Mar 2016|
|Copyright information||This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: The problem with ‘radicalization’: the remit of ‘Prevent’ and the need to refocus on terrorism in the UK, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2011.00964.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.|
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