Involving “Former Extremists” as Practitioners in Countering/Preventing Violent Extremism

The involvement of ‘former extremists’ as practitioners in countering and preventing violent extremism (C/PVE) has expanded as a global practice. It has potentially significant rewards for PVE but has presented challenges due to uneven practices: leaders in the field have stated there needs to be norms and standards to guide how ‘former extremists’ are involved and supported as practitioners. The IF-PRACT project will bring together leading practitioners in the field to identify global norms and standards, diffusing best practices globally with a view to improve the structural integrity of C/PVE programmes that involve ‘former extremists’ as practitioners.  

Following extensive progress in the last four years, our project (funded by Research England) brings together C/PVE practitioners through a major Delphi study and an international workshop to set out global norms and standards for C/PVE programmes involving ‘former extremists’. The research team have written extensively on the topic over a ten-year period, including the forthcoming Oxford University Press book ‘Former Extremists’. The project’s partners includes the leading practitioners in work involving ‘former extremists’. The project represents the culmination of years of collaboration and constitutes the largest international network of practitioners and academics working on ‘former extremists’ in the context of C/PVE.   

The project has two components. Between January-May 2024, we will conduct a Delphi study a) to identify challenges and best practices and b) to help develop a consensus on global norms and standards for involving ‘formers’ as practitioners. We use this approach because it has been shown to successfully change the attitudes of experts on contested policy issues. In July 2024, we will host an international workshop to bring key practitioners, in addition to our advisory board members, to facilitate the adoption and implementation of these global norms and standards.  A report will be produced setting out these best practices and standards – it will represent a global statement by the key voices in the area, setting the benchmark for work in the area. 

Project aims

To set out global norms and standards for C/PVE programmes involving ‘former extremists’.


Workshop, New York University 15-16th July