Responding to Violent Radicalization: Contextualized Resilience and Risk-Focused Prevention in Europe
Addressing the issues raised above, this paper examines the uses of resilience in the context of policies directed towards preventing violent extremism in Europe. In particular, we will examine the utility of context sensitive alternatives to risk-focused prevention, for example, those geared toward enhancing dialogue through community mediation and improving social cohesion. Drawing on empirical evidence developed during explorative area-based research in a few European cities recently affected by terrorist attacks, we elucidate the possibilities of and limits to engaging key actors such as teachers, youth workers and community-leaders in building trust and promoting social optimism. In so doing, we confront critical questions that are crucial in developing appropriate policy responses to the threat of terrorism. How is resilience understood and mobilised by the various actors involved in preventing radicalization? Which structural factors encourage or inhibit the building of resilience? How do contextualised resilience approaches work in relation to risk-focused approaches to violent radicalisation?