Arranging Resilience: The role of social actors in preventing violent extremism

William David Stephens

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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Preventing radicalization violent extremism has become a key element of most counter- terrorism strategies and action plans. Over the last two decades it has developed as an arena of policy and practice that can be found at all levels, from the United Nations to local city governments, to grassroots practices. As this field has developed, a twofold challenge has emerged: the clear need to prevent extremist violence on the one hand, and the need to ensure that approaches to doing so are not in themselves counter-productive or even harmful. It is in this context that this thesis turns to the notion of resilience to radicalisation. The idea of building resilience as a key part of preventing violent extremism has been growing in popularity, and offers the potential of reframing approaches to prevention. Yet, the notion of resilience brings with it its own set of issues and challenges. This thesis both maps out how preventing violent extremism, and in particular resilience to radicalisation, are currently conceived of in academia, policy, and practice, and points to a path forwards in drawing on resilience in the context of preventing violent extremism. In doing so, the thesis addresses the overarching question: what kinds of social arrangements could conceivably foster resilient responses in radicalizing environments?
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Boutellier, Hans, Supervisor
  • Sieckelinck, Stijn Mariette Albert, Co-supervisor
Award date2 Nov 2021
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Print ISBNs9789462362390
Electronic ISBNs9789051891744
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021


  • Resilience
  • Radicalisation
  • Violent Extremism
  • Collaboration
  • Prevention
  • q methodology


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