In Episode 10 of RUSI’s Decoding Counterterrorism, hosts Jessica White and Raffaello Pantucci are joined by Saji Prelis and Claudia Wallner to discuss the role youth have in preventing and countering violent extremism.
Youth, often loosely seen as those aged somewhere between 15 and 35, have long been the target of efforts to prevent violent extremism and are often seen as the population most ‘at risk’ to radicalisation and recruitment. However, research of these types of interventions shows how common assumptions about youth are often not grounded in the reality that ‘youth’ itself is not a risk factor and that there are a variety of potential drivers and risk factors that need to be assessed and addressed.
At the global level, most youth use peaceful pathways to air grievances and seek change. Instead of targeting youth as a risk category, young people should be seen as a resource for positive peer-group engagement and as drivers of change. Therefore, where youth are the target population of interventions to prevent violent extremism, how can we engage them to ensure that these efforts are effectively assessing risk factors and addressing the varied experiences of these young people?
A comprehensive research programme on the effectiveness of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) projects.
Dr Jessica White
Senior Research Fellow
Terrorism and Conflict
Senior Associate Fellow
Expert on youth movements in conflict and transition environments