Between two stools? the government's 'preventing violent extremism' agenda

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The 7/7 London suicide bombings of July 2005 and numerous subsequent Islamist terror plots have highlighted the reality of an 'internal' threat to Britain. One governmental response has been the 'Preventing Violent Extremism' (PVE) programme. Whilst the educational aspect of its focus on Muslim young people is to be welcomed, there are serious concerns as to whether PVE policy, as currently designed, is falling between two stools. To date, the programme focuses exclusively on Muslim communities in flat contradiction to the integration policy priority of community cohesion, so risking further defensiveness from Muslim communities and resentment from white working class communities. Whilst ignoring the right-wing extremism growing in some of those white communities, PVE work with young people is actually failing to engage openly and robustly with the real political issues driving Muslim anger and minority extremist support. The confidence, understanding and skills of educational practitioners are vital here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


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