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Preventing Radicalization in the UK: Expanding the Knowledge-Base on the Channel Programme


Journal abstract

The Channel programme is part of the Prevent Strategy, one of the four strands of the UK counter-terrorism strategy known as CONTEST. While the programme has been running since 2007 and thousands of purportedly ‘vulnerable’ individuals are referred to the programme each year, there are still gaps in public knowledge about the programme, and this article seeks to fill some of those gaps while raising issues to consider in the future. With empirical data from interviews with individuals who have worked on the Channel programme, issues discussed include the type of individuals who are placed onto the programme, the suitability of intervention providers who aim to assist these vulnerable individuals, and the vital role of schools and the community in the success of the programme. The way in which the programme is designed and framed is of vital importance, as the mechanisms by which a deradicalization programme should work are very different from those which a counter-radicalization programme should employ. Finally suggestions are made for future empirical work in order to be able to understand and evaluate Channel.

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