Resilience as a protective factor against violent extremism: a systematic review of systematic reviews


  • Slim Masmoudi Naif Arab University for Security Sciences
  • Wijdan Abbas Naif Arab University for Security Sciences
  • Shahla Eltayeb Naif Arab University for Security Sciences


Resilience, Protective Factors, Systematic Review, Violent Extremism


Violent extremism (VE) threatens global security. Efforts to counter VE have focused on identifying factors that pull and push toward extremism. However, identifying individual and community qualities that buffer against VE remains insufficient and needs improvement. This review aimed to identify links between resilience and VE. A systematic review of systematic reviews (SR-SR) using the Campbell Collaboration review methodology was conducted. A 5-stage search of 12 databases yielded 17 systematic reviews with more than 2800 records. After evaluation by two reviewers using the AMSTAR appraisal tool, only nine systematic reviews received a high rating and were analyzed. Seven reviews identified clear and direct protective resilience factors against VE. The protective resilience factors were categorized as (1) individual resilience factors, (2) family resilience factors, and (3) community resilience factors. Community resilience as a theme of resilience appeared more frequently within the reviewed literature encompasses community engagement, collective identity, social support networks, and emotional orientation. The study provided insights linking resilience as a buffer to VE. This evidence will enable policymakers and preventing violent extremism efforts to mobilize and strengthen community resilience.


This research was funded by Naif Arab University for Security Science (NAUSS-SRC-21-02)


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