Could community engagement help prevent radicalisation and extremism?

A School of Law postgraduate researcher has carried out a research project looking at how community engagement could help prevent radicalisation and extremism.

Neda Richards’ research aims to explore whether community engagement had an impact on people reporting concerns about radicalisation and extremism – especially from family and close relatives.

She compared the style of engagement delivered in Aarhus, Denmark to that of West Yorkshire, looking at how both strategies could inform a community engagement style that could positively impact reporting behaviour. She also explored the reasons reporters came forward and based on their needs, improve and encourage reporting of radicalisation and extremism.

Neda has now published a policy brief which highlights what needs to be done in order to improve and encourage reporting of radicalisation and extremism.

It argues that community engagement needs to be more psychology based and connect with individual's identity. Moreover, it suggests in order to encourage reporting the process needs to be made easy for reporters, but most importantly agencies need to work closely with families to ensure prevention. While the report found that a project in Denmark has managed to increase reports from relatives once they had engaged and worked with families.