Counter-extremism and De-radicalisation in the UK: a Contemporary Overview


  • Gwen Griffith-Dickson
  • Andrew Dickson
  • Ivermee Robert


De-radicalization, Terrorism, Prevention, Intervention, Lokahi Foundation, United Kingdom


De-radicalisation policy carries with it an inherent tension: those who provide the most invaluable support in drawing people away from violent extremist groups generally come from the demographic or community that is under suspicion. This is true even when the extremist ideology is simple for governments and state agencies to understand – such as certain political or nationalist demands – due to the credibility and reach held by members of community. Yet when government lacks not only trust and moral authority with a target demographic, but a theological and cultural knowledge which is central to understanding the nature of the extremist threat (as with violent Islamist extremism), partnering with civil society actors from the community takes on a vital importance. Partnering with community members has therefore been a central and indispensable part of the UK’s Prevent strategy, but how to do so has at times been a disputed, chronically under-researched, ideologically driven political quagmire.

The Lokahi Foundation is currently conducting a long research project, funded by the European Community, to assess the lessons that can be identified from the United Kingdom’s responses to extremism and ‘radicalization’. In this brief report we set out the historical context in which we undertake this work, and the implicit ‘strategic philosophy’, of the United Kingdom’s approach since the London attacks of July 2007. 

Author Biographies

Gwen Griffith-Dickson

Professor Griffith-Dickson is Vice-Principal - Academic of Heythrop College and Director of The Lokahi Foundation

Andrew Dickson

Andrew Dickson is a researcher at Lokhai Foundation and currently holding a B.A. from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Ivermee Robert

 Robert Ivermee currently works at University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies