What is the available evidence on the role of development assistance in countering extremism, violent extremism and terrorism? If possible, identify approaches, lessons, and guidance.
This rapid review identifies evidence on the role of development assistance in countering extremism, violent extremism and terrorism. There is a growing body of literature in this area, with much of the evidence situated under the banner of ‘countering violent extremism (CVE)’. The terms ‘violent extremism’ and ‘terrorism’ are often used interchangeably, and there is no internationally-agreed definitions of these or CVE. Some authors caution that donors and the wider community should prioritise developing suitable definitions of the CVE to avoid it being inconsistently applied (Khalil and Zeuthen 2014). ‘Radicalisation’ is also commonly used in the available literature on violent extremism, mainly in the context of understanding why people engage in violent acts, and in the processes of countering extremist behaviour.
Much of the readily available literature on approaches to tackling violent extremism and terrorism focuses on de-radicalisation and CVE efforts in Europe and America. However, there is emerging literature on programmes from Asia and North Africa. Most of these tend to be country-based approaches that are driven by national or local government. There is limited literature available on donors’ approaches or policies to CVE.
Hinds, R. Role of development assistance in countering extremism and terrorism (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1210). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 12 pp.