NEWS & commentary
Yesterday, David Cameron set out his five year vision for tackling extremism. In a piece for LSE's Politics and Policy blog, I offer some thoughts about its heavy focus on ideology, and consider some of the tensions inherent within the strategy that may cause problems for future policy.
Billed as his most significant speech on extremism since taking office, David Cameron laid out his five year vision for combating extremist ideology at a school in Birmingham this week. In his speech, Cameron set out four principles the government believes important in defeating extremism: confronting extremist ideology; tackling violent and non-violent extremism; emboldening moderate Muslim voices; and building a more cohesive society. It was more detailed, and contained more nuance than comparable announcements in recent years, but the arguments Cameron set out face a number of significant challenges, both in terms of the policy likely to flow from it, and with respect to its fundamental premise: that by tackling extremist ideology, it will be possible to limit terrorism.
Following on from the debate on what schools should do about radicalisation I was involved in a couple of weeks ago, I put together some thoughts on those mechanisms that seem important if we're interested in encouraging young people to negotiate difference effectively and compassionately.
Those thoughts have just been published on the Political Studies Association Insight Blog.
I was fortunate to be involved in a debate on the question of what schools should do about radicalisation last week. Part of the series of Westminster Faith Debates, the event brought together academics, teachers, and others interested in how to engage most effectively with the question of 'radicalisation' in education.
It was particularly timely as a new bill came into force on the day of the event obliging a range of statutory agents, including teachers, to prevent young people from becoming involved in non-violent and violent extremism. Both the talks from my fellow debaters - Senior Vice Principal Zehra Jaffer, historian Tom Holland, and Prof Paul Thomas - and the questions from the floor raised important and unresolved issues about how to safeguard children and ensure a proportionate response to extremism.
A podcast of the event will be available on the website shortly.