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Designing and implementing programmes to tackle radicalization and violent extremism: lessons from criminology

Dynamics of Asymmetric ConflictJournal abstract
The field of criminology has helped to inform research and debate on the causes and prevention of terrorism. It has also provided important insights into understanding and tackling radicalization and violent extremism. In this paper the criminological field of crime prevention is drawn on to highlight how lessons from crime prevention policy and practice can help inform the ways central and local governments, authorities and community-based organizations programmatically (at the level of planning, designing and implementing policy or strategies) respond to radicalization and violent extremism. The five key lessons/insights covered are (1) the possible iatrogenic effects of interventions, (2) the need to use credible voices, (3) limits of diversion, (4) tension between central and local priorities, and (5) sustainability and capacity building. The aim is to highlight how various pitfalls in programme design and delivery can be overcome in the field of deradicalization and countering violent extremism. While the issues canvassed are not an exhaustive list, this paper reflects similar attempts to identify how experiences from other policy fields can help inform counter-terrorism efforts.