Does CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) Work? A new report from the Global Center on Cooperative Security asks that question, in an effort to determine the best approach moving forward.
As the most significant development in counterterrorism in recent years, CVE is at a "fulcrum point," the report asserts. There is enough experience with it to expect data to be collected and analyzed, and these analyses should inform future work in the field if it is to be evidence-based.
The report reviews publicly available research on CVE to find lessons from past experience with government efforts to engage communities on countering terrorism. It then analyzes how those evaluations have impacted the evolution of CVE.
The report finds that "governments have begun to integrate knowledge from their initial forays into the CVE space" and that CVE has "become better focused on the risk of extremist behavior over time." As such, "second-wave" CVE measures are focused on a "series of refined initiatives at the community level, alongside a stronger focus on individual-level interventions." They also are more likely to target those most at-risk of committing extremist violence rather than those that may be sympathetic to extremist ideas, "a welcome development," the report states. At the same time, these second-wave programs present challenges, and the report recommends that governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) institutionalize evidentiary learning on CVE.
Read the full report here.