A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Assessing the Effectiveness of Current De‐Radicalization Initiatives and Identifying Implications for the Development of U.S.‐Based Initiatives in Multiple Settings


Assessing the Effectiveness of Current De‐Radicalization Initiatives and Identifying Implications for the Development of U.S.‐Based Initiatives in Multiple Settings

Abstract: 

In recent years, substantial attention has been paid to how and why terrorism ends. The welcome development of an increase in research on a hitherto neglected area has occurred in parallel with the increasing prevalence of a series of innovative, ambitious yet under-examined approaches to counterterrorism. These are collectively referred to as ‘deradicalization programs’. However, and despite the popular media coverage of these programs, basic information surrounding even the most basic of facts pertaining to these programs remains limited.

This report presents the results of a one-year study of select de-radicalization programs and investigates a series of critical issues surrounding assessment of the effectiveness and outcomes of these programs.

Five open-source case studies of country-specific programs (Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Northern Ireland, Colombia and Indonesia) illustrate not only the unique, context-specific circumstances in which these programs originated and developed, but also reveal the challenges inherent in attempts at generalization from one or more programs, including, but not exclusive to, efforts to assess the success of these initiatives.

While the overarching purpose of this project was to identify policy-relevant issues relevant to assessing the effectiveness of these programs, the report seeks to identify which assessment issues are: a) specific to individual countries or cases; b) generalizable to other cases c) in order to identify those lessons that will help provide a foundation of policy-relevant knowledge from which similar local initiatives might develop, and not be limited to any one context both for de-radicalization and anti-radicalization strategies.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Horgan, John, and Kurt Braddock. 2009. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Current De‐Radicalization Initiatives and Identifying Implications for the Development of U.S.‐Based Initiatives in Multiple Settings." College Park, MD: START, September. https://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/local_attachments/De-radicalization%20Programs%20Final%20Report.pdf

START Author(s): 
Kurt Braddock
Publication URL: 
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