This article examines the transferability of two decades of counter-terrorism policy structures which are focused on Islamist extremism. It illustrates how these policies are challenged by the emergence and resurgence of different threat profiles on the security horizon, especially focusing on right-wing extremism. Prevention has become a prominent part of the counter-terrorism strategy, with much of this programming focused on engaging “at risk” communities to reduce grievances which might encourage participation in violent extremism. This article assesses, through a review of literature and policy as well as contextual comparative analysis, whether “at risk” communities for other forms of extremism can be identified by the same simplistic categorisation processes which are often employed with the Islamist inspired threat. Identifying the challenges of community-based programming highlights the importance of gender roles within communities and the radicalisation narrative, thus emphasising the essential nature of a gender lens for effective counter-terrorism policy.
This article was published as part of a Special Edition of the ICCT Journal, Evolutions in Counter-Terrorism.