Evaluating Terrorist and Extremist Reintegration Programming: A Systematic Literature Review
Keywords:Systematic Literature Review, Extremism, Terrorism, Deradicalization, Reintegration, Tertiary Prevention, State of the Art
This systematic literature review focuses on the evaluation of programs or interventions designed to deradicalize, disengage, rehabilitate, and/or reintegrate terrorists and/or extremists. Though a robust literature describing such interventions exists, it has long been recognized that more data are needed on the effectiveness of programs designed to facilitate reintegration. Thus, the objective of this review is to present an overview of academic and grey literature on the evaluation of programming designed to facilitate the deradicalization, disengagement, rehabilitation, and/or reintegration of terrorists and/or extremists. Our initial queries yielded 271 seemingly relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature articles, but after a more robust screening we determined that only 37 of those articles directly related to the evaluation of interventions. These articles are presented by evaluation design (e.g., quantitative, qualitative); we also review the evaluation mechanisms (e.g., survey, interviews, note review), study design (e.g., experimental, quasi-experimental), data types (i.e., quantitative or qualitative), and findings. Finally, we include ten articles discussing theory of program evaluation. Though the review is limited to available data (e.g., not including unpublished evaluations or government evaluations), we conclude by discussing the state of program evaluation relating to interventions designed to deradicalize, disengage, rehabilitate, and/or reintegrate terrorists and/or extremists, and offering several recommendations for how to improve evaluation methods and overcome barriers to evaluation.
This project was made possible by funding and support from the National Institute of Justice (Applying a Developmental Evaluation Approach to Address Community Safety and Health Challenges of Reintegration Programs in the USA - Award Number 2019-ZA-CX-001). The content of this manuscript, as well as the views and discussions expressed, are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of any of the above institutions, nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.
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