Stakeholders in Disengaging from Radicalisation in a Local Community
Radicalisation and extremism, with the potential to lead to violent extremism, are a constant security threat in modern democratic societies. In the last few decades, Europe generally and the Western Balkan countries in particular have been broadly viewed as a breeding ground for religious radicals and violent extremis It is becoming clear that radicalisation-prevention strategies must be locally oriented and harmonised at the international and interagency levels. It is intelligence agencies that deal with violent extremism since they are leading national security actors and operate using classified information. Nowadays, the police and other local stakeholders like local government, schools and NGOs are crucial for facilitating a preventative multi-agency approach, especially in local settings. Such an approach should combine measures from the area of criminal justice with policies from the fields of education, social inclusion and integration, while ensuring the timely provision of effective de-radicalisation and/or disengagement. The authors of this paper understand the term disengagement as the action or process of withdrawing from being involved in a radical activity, situation or group. It differs from counter-radicalisation (preventing radicalisation from taking place) and de-radicalisation (bringing about a change in values and ideas away from radical and/or violent ideas). The paper presents the preliminary findings of a study conducted on a sample of 108 students at the Croatian Police College of the MoI concerning the role of different stakeholders responsible for efforts towards the disengagement of individuals from radical and extremist movements in Croatia. The data were collected during the students’ study courses in December 2018.
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