Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation, and Prevent

A vernacular approach

By Lee Jarvis, Andrew Whiting and Stuart Macdonald

Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation, and Prevent
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  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526172730
  • Publish Date: Mar 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526172747
  • Publish Date: Mar 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-7274-7
    • Published Date: March 2024


    This book offers the first sustained investigation into non-elite understandings of radicalisation and counter-radicalisation policy. Drawing on original focus group research with students from universities across England and Wales, the book explores how 'ordinary' citizens understand radicalisation, how they make sense of counter-radicalisation initiatives like the UK Prevent Strategy, and how they evaluate its functioning and effects across society. Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation and Prevent demonstrates that these non-elite insights often contradict and diverge from traditional (elite) security knowledge and thus shed new light on wider questions around the politics of security. This has vitally important implications not only for counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy but for the very study and practice of security.


    'In their timely new book, Jarvis, Macdonald, and Whiting offer a rich and nuanced analysis of the vernacular understandings and experiences of counter-radicalization initiatives such as the UK's controversial Prevent program. What emerges is a complex picture in which the language of radicalization retains conceptual resilience despite profound criticisms, and the strategy itself elicits both support and frustration from citizens who both recognize the security challenge confronted yet remain sceptical of the framework employed to address it. This book makes multiple important contributions, methodologically in its application of 'vernacular security', analytically in its revealing of everyday politics, and normatively in providing space for subjugated narratives on this divisive arena of public policy. It deserves to become essential reading for scholars across political science, legal studies, sociology, criminology, and beyond with interests in critical security studies, counter-terrorism, and citizenship.'
    Tahir Abbas, Professor of Radicalisation Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

    'This book is the first of its kind to interrogate the various ways in which ordinary people understand radicalisation as a concept within the UK, and it explores what they make of government policies and interventions such as Prevent. Its 'bottom-up' approach corrects the elitist tendencies within existing work on radicalisation and violent extremism. The book will be very valuable to students, academics and practitioners who are interested in what people know about radicalisation and violent extremism and the claims that they make in their engagement with 'top-down' policies and discourses.'
    Akin Oyawale, University of Warwick

    'Counter-radicalisation policies are increasingly fundamental to the provision of national security. To be successful, they also, crucially, rely upon public support and engagement. As the first sustained analysis of citizen understandings of radicalisation and counter-radicalisation this book will be essential reading for policymakers, practitioners and others seeking to understand how programmes like Prevent are experienced and evaluated in everyday life within the United Kingdom and beyond.'
    Anne Aly, Member of the Australian Parliament


    1 Prevent and (Counter-)Radicalisation
    2 Vernacular Security and (Counter-)Radicalisation
    3 Radicalisation and/in the Vernacular
    4 Knowing Prevent
    5 Evaluating Prevent
    6 Theorising (Counter-)Radicalisation in the Vernacular


    Lee Jarvis is Professor of International Politics at Loughborough University
    Stuart Macdonald is Professor of Law at Swansea University
    Andrew Whiting is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Royal Holloway, University of London

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