Countering Violent Extremism

Although terrorist acts have existed throughout history, the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001 (hence- forth referred to as 9/11), was a turning point in counter terrorism policy (Bolechów, 2005). The dramatic nature of those attacks and the response from the American government created an ‘us versus them’ dichotomy, which led other Western governments to join in a counter terrorism effort. Since violent extremism is a precondition of terror- ism, counter terrorism e orts aim to decrease violent extremism.Our understanding of CVE is “a broad-ranging term that describes initiatives to reduce the spread of violent extremist ideologies” (Mirahmadi, Ziad, Farooq and Lamb, 2015, p. 2). Most CVE programmes use several hard power strategies and methods to combat and reduce violent religious extremist groups. The interface of education and security studies has received relatively little attention thus far (Gearon, 2014). Therefore, the scope of this review strictly focuses on education, both as a means to counter violent extremism as well as its use for extremist purposes.