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Preventive Communication: Emerging Lessons from Participative Approaches to Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya

Matt Freear and Andrew Glazzard
RUSI Journal, 11 March 2020
Strengthening Resilience against Violent Extremism, Terrorism and Conflict, Terrorism, Africa
Effective approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism should emphasise the agency of those at risk.

There is no shortage of communications-based interventions in the field of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). However, strategic communications P/CVE initiatives – focused on the content of communication – have not been subject to rigorous, independent, published evaluations. Matt Freear and Andrew Glazzard suggest that those at risk of violent extremist influences should be seen not as subjects of an intervention but as agents in their own social environments, where their ability and opportunity to communicate is significant not only to shaping the responses of others but also to developing their own perspective. They describe a pioneering pilot intervention undertaken in Kenya, and provide emerging lessons of the effectiveness of what has been labelled the ‘preventive communications’ approach to P/CVE.

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Matt Freear
Communications Research Consultant (RUSI Nairobi)

Matt Freear has worked in media and communications for more than 17 years, specialising in communications around conflict and terrorism... read more

Dr Andrew Glazzard OBE
Senior Associate Fellow

Dr Andrew Glazzard is Associate Professor at Swansea University’s Cyber Threats Research Centre. He was Director of the National... read more

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