Re-examining security-based approaches to countering violent extremism

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Based on ethnographic research over the past two years, Clarke Jones argues that Western governments have made very little headway to address violent extremism because of the lack of genuine grassroots consultation with communities in the development and application of policy, strategies, and responses.

This has led to responses that are risk-based and police-led rather than community-developed and driven. Therefore, many interventions so far have lacked the right cultural, ethnic, and religious nuisances to adequately address a young person's needs. Instead, programs have been developed with little or no evidence to support the intervention or reliable evaluation measures to test the efficacy of those programs.

Clarke further argues that an alternative approach is required, one that is co-designed with community. With this approach, interventions are more likely to be trusted by participants and are more likely to be culturally and religiously appropriate to the needs of the young person. Those requiring support can be placed into a 'community of care', which is designed to stand a better chance of preventing the kinds of situations that have typically led in the past to a police response and/or a criminal justice system outcome. While the latter may well be an outcome favoured by some, it is not socially - or economically - sustainable.

About the Speaker

Dr Clarke Jones holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, which examined the burring roles of the military and police in response to non-traditional security threats. He also has a Masters degree in criminology from RMIT University, which challenged perceptions of structure in organised crime in Australia. Before moving to academia, he worked for the Australian Government for 15 years in several areas of national security.