I. Identifying the Problem

Good Practice 1

Each state initially needs to understand the nature of violent extremism. States should identify the conditions conducive to violent extremism and assess their own needs, objectives, and capabilities prior to developing and/or tailoring any CVE-relevant program.

Understanding the process of radicalization has become one of the most critical points in responding to violent extremism and preventing individuals from starting down the path toward violence or becoming members of a terrorist organization. The first step to developing an effective CVE policy, program, or strategy is to have an in-depth understanding of this process.


Good Practice 2

Strategies with regard to CVE should be based on scientific analyses.

Radicalization and recruitment into violent extremism are often localized phenomenon; conditions conducive to violent extremism, vulnerable areas/communities, and at-risk demographic groups vary from country to country – and even within a particular country. In order to develop an effective response strategy to counter violent extremism, it is important first to identify the problem and focus on key groups or focal areas by using information from various sources. The information flow coming out of government agencies and intelligence services is clearly critical, but may not be sufficient to determine the scope of the problem. Scientific field studies or regular screening surveys conducted by academic or research institutions can help to complete the picture in understanding the dynamic structure of violent extremist groups and new emerging threats. The information flow from multiple sources likely will enable states to develop deeper understanding of the problem.


Good Practice 3

Any CVE program should avoid the identification of violent extremism with any religion, culture, ethnic group, nationality, or race.

An ethnocentric approach to violent extremism will limit the visions of those who are responsible for developing CVE strategies. Associating a CVE program with a particular religion, culture, ethnic group, nationality, or race could alienate those very members of the community whose cooperation is important for the program to succeed.


Good Practice 4

Each violent extremist group should be evaluated separately, since a one-size-fits-all approach does not work in the case of violent extremism. Thus, responses and interventions should be group-specific.

States can encounter different types of violent extremism and should acknowledge that each form has both unique and common characteristics. Any CVE policy or program should take into account these differences and similarities. Radicalization involves similar stages, regardless of the ideologies of violent extremist groups.


Good Practice 5

Considering violent extremism to be a mere security issue can be misleading. It is a multi-faceted problem that requires multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional responses.

Dealing with violent extremism involves a wide variety of fields, including psychology, sociology, political science, education, public policy, and administration, as well as welfare policy. These fields are inter-related. Common conditions conducive to violent extremism – such as real or perceived grievances, collective or personal humiliation, inequalities, injustice, unemployment, exclusion from economic, social and political participation – are typically beyond the scope of traditional security approaches and require a broader range of responses.