Episode 6: The Role of Public Health and its Model in Counterterrorism

Hosts Jessica White and Raffaello Pantucci are joined by Jonathan Metzl and Michael Jones to discuss how the public health model – an epidemiological approach attempting to prevent or reduce a particular illness or social problem in a population by identifying risk indicators – has been applied in preventing and countering violent extremism. Michael highlights how this model provides a way to organise preventative interventions for the wider range of potential drivers of violent extremism.

We also discuss the opportunities and challenges around engaging healthcare professionals in the goal of preventing violent extremism, including the concern that they might be drawn into a security agenda which could compromise the trust they enjoy with patients or pressure their professional judgements. Jonathan then enumerates the fundamental challenges inherent in trying to use mental health diagnosis tools to predict those who might go on to commit violence.


Dr Jessica White

Senior Research Fellow

Terrorism and Conflict

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Raffaello Pantucci

Senior Associate Fellow

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Michael Jones

Research Fellow

Terrorism and Conflict

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Professor Jonathan Metzl

Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University

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