Countering Radicalization to Violent Extremism: A Comparative Study of Canada, the UK and South East Asia
Recent high-profile terrorist events in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe – the London Bridge attacks, the terrorist attacks in Nice, France and Barcelona, Spain, the 2014 Ottawa Parliament attacks and the 2017 attacks in Edmonton – have all raised levels of public and academic concern with so-called “lone-wolf” and “radicalized” terrorism. Similarly, several countries outside of the “Western” world have been dealing with radicalization to violent extremism for several years. Many South East Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have all had experience with what might be described as ISIS or extremist-inspired acts of terrorism. Indeed, it appears the greatest strength of groups such as ISIS has been their ability to spread a global message of violent extremism that has led to radicalization in markedly different jurisdictions throughout the world. These markedly different jurisdictions have responded with counter-radicalization strategies that warrant further comparative analysis. This paper utilizes an inter-disciplinary legal methodology. In doing so, it compares legal, political, cultural and historical aspects of the counter-radicalization strategies employed by Canada, the United Kingdom and several South East Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines). Whilst acknowledging significant legal and political differences between these jurisdictions, the paper engages in these analyses with an eye towards understanding which best practices might be shared between the jurisdictions. In doing so, it presents valuable findings of a comparative nature that are useful to both academic and practitioner audiences in several jurisdictions.
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