Are the experts on radicalisation getting it wrong?

April 5, 2018 — Press release

Written by Institute of Race Relations

What, asks the April issue of Race & Class, has happened in policy and academia to the concept of ‘radicalisation’ that Arun Kundnani  analysed in a pathbreaking piece, ‘Radicalisation: the journey of a concept’, some six years ago?

In a far-reaching survey of published articles and commissioned government research over the last years, covering the UK and North America, criminology Professor Derek Silva reveals just how pervasive the concept now is for understanding micro-level transitions towards violence. It now dominates governments’ overarching strategy encompassing surveillance, security, risk and community engagement. Radicalisation, a whole new area of study, has its own ‘experts’, who work closely on official government counter-radicalisation strategies, impervious to challenging, oppositional knowledge claims in the field.

Micol Seigel discusses a number of fallacies around policing, and coining her own category ‘violence work’, she examines how the police carry out violence work for the state, revealing the ideological landscape that legitimises state-market violence.

The April issue of Race & Class also pays homage to its founding editor A. Sivanandan, who died in January, by publishing a wide-ranging interview with him about his life and works, ‘The heart is where the battle is’.  In it he explains the transformation of the Institute of Race Relations in the 1970s and the thinking and principles out of which the journal itself was born. To learn more about Sivanandan and the politics he stood and stands for, join us on 23 June at Conway Hall in a celebration of his legacy. Click here to register for tickets.

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Related links

The heart is where the battle is: a celebration of Sivanandan’s legacy at Conway Hall, 23 June 2018

Spooked: how not to prevent violent extremism by Arun Kundnani

Free access to Race & Class 35.1, ‘Ireland: New beginnings?’ until 15 April

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The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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