Jessica Auchter
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The personal is political
Feminist critiques of countering violent extremism
in Encountering extremism
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Following on the feminist assertion that the personal is political, this chapter uses the focus of countering violent extremism (CVE) programmes on the personal lives of individuals as an opening to offer critiques. It focuses on the way CVE instrumentalises the private realm as a realm of security politics. I argue that this takes the private activity of some and posits it as always potentially threatening precisely because it takes place in the home. I examine this by telling two stories: first, of the way women’s liberation exists as a subnarrative of the focus on the home lives of potential Islamic terrorists; and second, in the way CVE focuses on the community, it focuses on countering recruitment strategies, which in the case of female recruits, focuses on their vulnerability to potential exploitation. It uses these stories to explore the gendered logic of CVE in the way it renders the site of the home subject to security management.

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Encountering extremism

Theoretical issues and local challenges


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