Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PVE and CVE) have become priority areas for policy planners around the world at all levels, from local government through to the agencies that make up the international UN system.
The emphasis being placed on ‘PVE’ and ‘CVE’ is changing the way that societies think about security and about counterterrorism, moving beyond ‘hard’ counterterrorism strategies towards the adoption of multi-agency and all-of-society approaches. Today, PVE and CVE work is being ‘mainstreamed’ into all areas of our lives, including education, health, social work, community development, the arts and culture.
At the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University, our work on PVE and CVE examines how such programmes can contribute to the creation of safer and more peaceful societies, but also the challenges and risks around these programmes and how these might be addressed going forward.
PVE and CVE policies and programmes have the potential to foster engagement with more bottom-up, participatory and sustainable approaches to peace and security by bringing together a wider range of stakeholders, and drawing on the rich set of skills, insights, expertise and experience that this entails. Yet the expansion and mainstreaming of PVE and CVE requires coordination across multiple stakeholders with sometimes diverse interests, and raises difficult questions about how we evaluate an ever more diverse portfolio of programmes. It also raises difficult questions about how we ensure that PVE and CVE programmes do not negatively affect other vital work in areas such as education, health, social work, community development, peacebuilding, human rights, or gender relations.
Our work on PVE and CVE combines leading academic research with extensive practitioner experience, and brings together expertise and insight from research and practice in gender and conflict, peacebuilding, social movements, diaspora studies, social work, conflict dynamics, counter-terrorism policing, violence reduction and prevention, policy implementation, and evaluation.
This work is coordinated by the CTPSR Working Group on PVE and CVE. The Working Group currently has four main focus areas, each of which relate to CTPSR’s wider portfolio of work:
- How PVE and CVE are being inserted into other areas of public policy – including education, peacebuilding, social work, community cohesion and the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda – and the implications this has both for PVE and CVE work, and for the policy areas into which PVE and CVE are being inserted.
- How key terms associated with PVE and CVE – such as ‘PVE’, ‘CVE’, ‘radicalisation’, ‘violent extremism’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘vulnerability’ – are defined and interpreted by different actors, and the implications that this has for how programmes and policies play out on the ground.
- How a better understanding of non-violence and processes of non-escalation or non-radicalisation can help us to develop more effective and sustainable strategies for preventing and countering violent extremism, and fostering peaceful societies.
- Evaluation and research into the effects and effectiveness of PVE and CVE programmes and interventions.
Members of the CTPSR Working Group on PVE and CVE are also actively involved in a range of knowledge transfer activities, including training and workshops.
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