Countering Violent Extremism

U.S. Department of State

Introduced as part of an Obama administration counterterrorism program, the phrase “Countering Violent Extremism” (or “CVE”) refers to a broad spread of ideas and strategies aimed at dissuading and understanding radicalization. CVE initiatives range from academic research on extremist propaganda and the role of religion in violent ideology to civil society programs aimed at reintegrating disaffected youth. Despite its recent popularity, however, CVE faces some notable problems. While some Muslim community leaders view CVE programs as a welcome alternative to police surveillance, other leaders argue that it is simply surveillance by a different name. Perhaps even more seriously, critics have charged that the definition of CVE is so vague as to be almost unformed: what, after all, do we define as “violent extremism”? And what does it really mean to “counter” it?

Latest in Countering Violent Extremism

Countering Violent Extremism

George Washington University Releases ISIS in America Report and Material Support Database

The Program on Extremism at George Washington University released their report entitled ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa. The report examines all cases of U.S. persons arrested, indicted, or convicted in the United States for ISIS-related activities the individual's various motivations, path to radicalization, and the degree of their tangible links to ISIS. 

Foreign Policy Essay

Domestic Counterterrorism: Material Support or Bust

Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, argues that prosecution is not the only—or even always the best—way to deal with homegrown violent extremists and advocates for the creation of a systematic intervention program as a viable alternative to prosecution for some cases.  

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