Delegated safeguarding or surveillance by proxy?
: the problem with Prevent – a critical discourse analysis of community-level counterradicalisation strategy

  • Aram Robert Ghaemmaghami

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Research generated by Prevent is abundant. The majority of studies focus on the
    delivery of Prevent as a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative but rarely question the methodological pretences that underpin its practices. There is however mounting pressure from the public sphere and sections of the research community that is casting doubt on Prevent’s effectiveness as a policy as well as its potentially harmful effects on the vulnerable communities it professes to serve. This qualitative investigation evaluates the implementation of Prevent and its statutory duty at the community level, drawing on the experiences of Local Authority (LA) Prevent managers, education providers, NGOs with a vested interest in Prevent and community advocates and Community Based Organisations (CBOs). It utilises the Foucauldian concept of governmentality as an explanatory tool to navigate the interplay between the bureaucratic, economic and ideological suppositions that facilitate Prevent, whilst also drawing upon Bourdieu’s methodological framework regarding the educational field to explore the paradox generated by Foucault’s concept of governmentality in practice. This study argues that Prevent is symptomatic of neo- liberal mechanisms of power that are primarily focused on generating large scale, quantitative data to answer societal questions only smaller, more focused qualitative studies can hope to solve.
    Date of AwardSept 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorNaheem Jabbar (Supervisor), Ed Stoddard (Supervisor) & Paul Norman (Supervisor)

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