Challenging the separation of counter-terrorism and community cohesion in Prevent

Martin, Thomas (2015). Challenging the separation of counter-terrorism and community cohesion in Prevent. In: Baker-Beall, Christopher; Heath-Kelly, Charlotte and Jarvis, Lee eds. Counter-Radicalisation: Critical Perspectives. Routledge, pp. 190–205.



This chapter outlines the logic of radicalisation and the radicalised subject through a detailed reading of the Prevent documents, before drawing out the consequences this entails for the current literature, the practice of Prevent work and its relation to contemporary political transformations. Radicalisation forms the foundation of the Prevent policy and is defined as the 'processes whereby certain experiences and events in a person's life cause them to become radicalised, to the extent of turning to violence to resolve perceived grievances'. Reading the radicalised subject through the iterations of Prevent allows us to challenge the continued assertion, within both the policy itself and the literature, that the problems of Prevent can be solved through the separation of counter-radicalisation and community cohesion. The act of terrorism becomes merely a differentiation of tactics. As such, the policy must be read as positioning the ends of counter-terrorism to be best served by these broader integration and cohesion strategies.

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