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Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Paper: Making CVE Work Through a Focused Approach

My latest paper, Making CVE Work: A Focused Approach Based on Process Disruption, has been published by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague. As long-time readers will know, I have long been a critic of the broad spectrum of CVE programs, based on a number of different objections. This paper is the summation of some years spent in the CVE trenches, working on programs and sitting through an endless series of planning meetings that I have come to think of as "CVE Groundhog Day." I have also done something here that I have not done in my previous writings on this subject -- offer a specific proposal for how I believe CVE can be accomplished most effectively.

The paper addresses:

  • A survey of the many flawed but seemingly unkillable assumptions about what constitutes CVE efforts, based in large part on my CVE Groundhog Day experiences. 
  • Case studies in how and why people actually disengage from violent armed movements, as opposed to theories based on the aforementioned assumptions. 
  • Based on those case studies, an updated version of my "Five Ds of CVE," in which I advocate for using negative inputs to promote disengagement from violent extremism and VE recruiting networks, as opposed to feel-good efforts to transform people vulnerable to radicalization into upstanding citizens of a pluralistic global society.  
  • A radicalization model that is practical enough to use for CVE purposes, but not wedded to any specific ideology. 
  • A proposal for how to integrate all of the above into a specific program that includes something many CVE programs lack -- a credible evaluation of the program's results.  

I still believe that CVE is a concept with some merit, if it can be stripped of its overweening ambition and factually flawed premises (prominently on display this week, unfortunately). This paper represents my best effort to contribute to a more effective model that can be evaluated on its actual merits.

Buy the new book ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger.

Buy J.M. Berger's seminal book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam

Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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