The Governance of Extremist Risk in British Universities

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 46 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Colman KEENAN, King's College London, United Kingdom
The Prevent strategy to counter extremism in the United Kingdom, which has recently been put on a statutory footing with the enactment of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, seeks to extend the governance of national security beyond the State. Through efforts to responsibilise various sectors, including but not limited to, education, faith, health and charities, a ‘hearts and minds’ approach to intervening in the radicalisation process at the earliest stage is sought to be embedded in sectoral governance regimes. This study explores engagement with, and implementation of, the Prevent strategy in British universities. Central to this engagement is the adherence to logics of risk and resilience. Several issues are given particular consideration: the problematisation of extremist risk at universities and how this has shaped the approaches to counter it; the adoption of novel techniques to counter extremism and the suffusion of these techniques with existing governance techniques; the effect that the implementation of Prevent and the formulation of these techniques has on the habiti of university personnel. The study adopts a multiple case study research design and focuses on three British universities. Documentary analysis of internal policies and procedures is supplemented with semi-structured interviews with key personnel within the university in a effort to move past the ‘blueprints’ of governance and analyse how they are actualised in practice.