Recording: Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: Lessons Learned Two Decades into the “War on Terror”

Building on RUSI’s multi-year Prevention Project, this event discusses the record of 20 years of preventing and countering violent extremism.

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Developed in the context of the War on Terror, efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE) are a frequent supplement to kinetic operations, reflecting the hard-learned reality that militarised responses on their own cannot eradicate terrorist movements. However, the efficacy of these ‘softer’ approaches is disputed, in part due to a contentious evidence base weakened by far-from-solid theoretical and empirical foundations.

Two decades after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, the dynamics, scope and disposition of violent extremism have evolved further, raising additional questions for policymakers and P/CVE practitioners. Are our current assumptions, methods and models sufficient for dealing with new challenges and emerging threats? Are lessons identified over the last two decades being applied in practice?

To help address such questions, RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict group has conducted an extensive investigation into the effectiveness of global P/CVE interventions. The research aimed to collate, assess and strengthen the existing knowledge base for P/CVE programmes across different thematic and geographic areas and identify what can work and what has not succeeded. This event will launch the Prevention Project’s conclusion paper, which identifies cross-cutting findings and recommendations, highlighting key lessons and themes reflected in both the available literature and data collected from the research team’s fieldwork in Kenya and Lebanon. Building on this analysis, the event will review key lessons coming out of the P/CVE space, asking whether our current approaches are fit for purpose and where P/CVE efforts should now be directed.


  • Dr Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mombasa
  • Athina Tzemprin, Manager, Moonshot
  • Michael Jones, Research Fellow, Terrorism and Conflict Research Group, RUSI

ChairEric Rosand, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI and former Director of the Prevention Project

Prevention Project

A comprehensive research programme on the effectiveness of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) projects.


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