Could policies aimed at preventing radicalisation in Europe end up undermining the very social cohesion they aim to preserve?
Since the mid-2000s, a growing number of European governments have broadened the scope of counter-terrorism, making it an issue that needs to be tackled by society as a whole. This report considers the effects of such policies in the education sector through a review of the existing literature on the subject. It begins by considering the issues facing educators and students and their families, and goes on to show how counter-radicalisation policies make contradictory demands on educators, asking them to build social cohesion and resilience while at the same time requiring them to employ a logic of suspicion in spotting potential radicals.
The report suggests that this contradictory mission challenges key principles of 1. human rights and fundamental freedoms; 2. education for democratic citizenship, human rights education, competences for democratic culture and the objectives of building inclusive societies; and 3. the key objectives of counter-terrorism itself.
The author therefore presents three main areas of reflexion, followed by recommendations for further research and action by the Council of Europe.