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Developing Global Norms & Standards for Involving Former Extremists in PCVE


The CGSC is pleased to share that researchers at the University of Leeds have been awarded Research England Policy Support funding to work with international partners to develop 'global norms and standards for involving 'former extremists' in countering and preventing violent extremism'.

The funding has been awarded by the Research England Policy Support Fund which funds a number of Policy Projects at the University of Leeds. These projects, for this academic year, began in October 2023 and will run until July 2024.

The involvement of ‘former extremists’ as practitioners and messengers in countering and preventing violent extremism (C/PVE) has expanded as a global practice. It has potentially significant rewards for PVE but has presented challenges due to uneven practices: leaders in the field have stated there needs to be norms and standards to guide how ‘former extremists’ are actively involved in C/PVE.  The project will bring together leading practitioners in the field to identify global norms and standards, diffusing best practices globally with a view to improve the structural integrity of C/PVE programmes that involve ‘former extremists’.

The project ‘Involving “Former Extremists” as Practitioners in Countering/Preventing Violent Extremism’ is led by Dr Gordon Clubb (University of Leeds and point of contact,, Dr Ryan Scrivens (Michigan State University), Dr Mary-Beth Altier (New York University), Dr Margherita Belgioioso (University of Leeds),  Katharina Meredith (Georgia State University), and Md. Didarul Islam (University of Leeds).

Advisory board members include leading international practitioners in the field, such as Ross Frenett (Moonshot), Christina Foerch (Fighters for Peace), Sara Winegar Budge (Moonshot), Robert Orell (Radicalisation Awareness Network Ambassador), Judy Korn (Violence Prevention Network), Fabian Wichmann (Exit Germany), Brad Galloway (Organization for Preventing Violence/Life After Hate), and Diana Hughes (Parents for Peace).

The project follows from extensive research and collaboration on the forthcoming book Former Extremists, to be published by Oxford University Press. With the support of New York University's Center for Global Affairs and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the project will bring together a global network of C/PVE practitioners.

The project has two components. Between January-May 2024, the team will conduct a Delphi study a) to identify challenges and best practices and b) to help develop a consensus on global norms and standards for involving ‘formers’ as practitioners. We use this approach because it has been shown to successfully gain consensus among experts on contested policy issues. We will invite practitioners and experts to a 2-day workshop on 15–16th July 2024 in New York at New York University to facilitate the adoption and implementation of these global norms and standards. Two reports, co-produced with participants, will set out these best practices and norms and standards – it will represent a global statement by the key voices in the area, setting the benchmark for work in this field.

If you would like to be updated on the progress of our project then please complete the following form.