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What good counter-extremism looks like

Since the early 2000s, more than 50 countries from Somalia to Denmark and Germany have developed initiatives to counter violent extremism (CVE). Despite this, there still remains a lack of strong evidence on which interventions are effective. From Lancaster University, Dr Sarah Marsden, James Lewis and Professor Kim Knott have reviewed the literature on CVE programmes, to give examples of what good CVE practice should look like.

For example, the European Commission, in 2015, defined CVE as ‘all actions that strengthen the resilience of individuals and communities to the appeal of radicalisers and extremism’. With such broad definitions, it can often be unclear how some programmes, categorised as ‘CVE-relevant’, can be seen to impact on violent extremism.

There is only a weak evidence base for what works in CVE programmes, few of which conduct systematic evaluations and many of which don’t make assessments public. There is also little agreement on what looks like success and how to measure outcomes.

For more visit

The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) is a national hub for understanding, countering and mitigating security threats. CREST also has a Youtube channel.


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