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A scoping review of interventions for preventing and countering violent extremism: Current status and implications for future research

Review article
Authors Isabella Pistone
Erik Eriksson
Ulrika Beckman
Christer Mattsson
Morten Sager
Published in Journal for deradicalization
Issue 19
Pages 1-84
ISSN 2363-9849
Publication year 2019
Published at Segerstedt Institute
Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 1-84
Language en
Keywords Scoping Review; Violent Extremism, Prevention, Countering, Intervention, Radicalization
Subject categories Other Social Sciences, Educational Sciences, Other Humanities


The growth of counter-terrorism efforts has been reported in a number of scholarly studies. These studies have also reported a shift in efforts to prevent future terrorism towards targeting potential future terrorists and preventing them from becoming radicalized, particularly in the Western world. The importance of evidence-based interventions is commonly stressed in the policy processes involved in installing interventions that have the aim of countering/preventing violent extremism (C/PVE). However, there is a lack of knowledge about the state of the evidence for interventions within this field. The objective of this scoping review was to map the evidence base for P/CVE interventions as reported in scholarly studies. We searched multiple databases using search terms related to violent extremism, terrorism and prevention to assess the research describing interventions for C/PVE. A total of 111 publications were included in the study. The interventions identified were most commonly implemented at the national level. Only 38 publications mentioned any kind of outcome and only two publications evaluated the comparative effectiveness of the interventions. The outcomes evaluated were knowledge and attitudes - outcomes without direct relevance for C/PVE. In conclusion, there is a lack of evidence-based interventions that focus on C/PVE. Future research should focus on evaluating the comparative effectiveness of outcomes that are relevant to C/PVE in order to fill this knowledge gap.

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