A scoping review of interventions for preventing and countering violent extremism: Current status and implications for future research


  • Isabella Pistone University of Gothenburg
  • Erik Eriksson University of Gothenburg
  • Ulrika Beckman University of Gothenburg
  • Christer Mattson University of Gothenburg
  • Morten Sager University of Gothenburg


Scoping Review, Violent Extremism, Prevention, Countering, Intervention, Radicalization


The growth of counter-terrorism efforts has been reported in a number of scholarly studies. These studies have also reported a shift in efforts to prevent future terrorism towards targeting potential future terrorists and preventing them from becoming radicalized, particularly in the Western world. The importance of evidence-based interventions is commonly stressed in the policy processes involved in installing interventions that have the aim of countering/preventing violent extremism (C/PVE). However, there is a lack of knowledge about the state of the evidence for interventions within this field. The objective of this scoping review was to map the evidence base for P/CVE interventions as reported in scholarly studies. We searched multiple databases using search terms related to violent extremism, terrorism and prevention to assess the research describing interventions for C/PVE. A total of 111 publications were included in the study. The interventions identified were most commonly implemented at the national level. Only 38 publications mentioned any kind of outcome and only two publications evaluated the comparative effectiveness of the interventions. The outcomes evaluated were knowledge and attitudes - outcomes without direct relevance for C/PVE. In conclusion, there is a lack of evidence-based interventions that focus on C/PVE. Future research should focus on evaluating the comparative effectiveness of outcomes that are relevant to C/PVE in order to fill this knowledge gap.


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