ABSTRACT

De-radicalisation has been conceived by elite policy-makers as a vital instrument in the fight against violent radicalisation. A number of de-radicalisation programmes emerged in many countries in the Middle East (ME) and Southeast Asia (SEA), and Europe in the late 1990s, but particularly post-2009/2011, with the overarching objective of getting individuals and groups to move away from terrorism (Bjorgo and Horgan 2009; Ashour 2009). In the UK, de-radicalisation interventions emanate from the second objective of the Prevent strategy (“supporting vulnerable individuals”) and are embodied through the police-run Channel Project (HO (Home Office) 2011, 59-71). Examples of de-radicalisation intervention providers in the UK include the Strategy to Reach, Empower, and Educate (STREET), which was run by a community and grassroots group based in Brixton, South London, and the Active Change Foundation, which is a grassroots organisation based in East London. The Channel project primarily aimed at “vulnerable” youths who have not committed a

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Vol. 8, No. 1, 110-129, https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2015.1005933

crime but are still deemed “extremist”. In contrast to programmes in the ME and SEA,1 UK de-radicalisation interventions are primarily: (1) based external to prison and focused on civil society; (2) targeted at “extremists” and not terrorists or convicted criminals; and (3) targeted at youngsters. In addition, the conceptualisation of de-radicalisation in the UK developed with a focus on the primacy of “Weltanschauung” or worldview for explaining radicalisation, and consequently, it valorises counterideological approaches in interventions.